RPS launches new Enterprise Fund

08 Jan 2021

We are pleased to present a new fund to help performers of classical music develop their skill set and devise new ways to showcase their talent, in light of the pandemic.

Classical musicians’ response to the pandemic has been extraordinary. Against all odds, musicians nationwide have resiliently and generously found ways to keep sharing what they do, turning bedrooms into makeshift studios, taking their instruments out onto the streets, becoming amateur film-makers, putting themselves forward in all sorts of ways they never had before, for the benefit of others. New forms of creativity and connectivity have been forged which, if taken forward, could represent a positive legacy from this difficult year.

Both the challenges and possibilities presented by the pandemic have doubtless led many musicians to reflect on what it means to be a musician today, and their future potential. 2020 has surely led many to contemplate what they might do, given the means, to strengthen and transform the extents of their creativity, connectivity, profile and revenue.

We are pleased to introduce a new fund – made possible thanks to our friends at Harriet’s Trust – offering £250,000 in grants which we hope will enable musicians to fulfil such aspirations. As its title suggests, the RPS Enterprise Fund invites musicians to think entrepreneurially. Applicants are invited to present ideas – drawing on their achievements and resolutions made in lockdown – which, if funded, could newly help develop their skill set, innovatively showcase their talent, and propel their career after this year’s setbacks.

Collectively, we hope recipients will represent a positive picture of how classical musicians can imaginatively adapt to the times, generating new initiatives to give the best of themselves for the benefit of society.

The RPS Enterprise Fund is open to professional classical performers (instrumentalists, singers and conductors) based in the UK and Ireland. There is no age limit but, given we anticipate more applications than we can support, the fund is not open to students, on the expectation that your place of study can continue to help you develop your approach. While we expect most applicants will be individuals, you can also apply as a chamber group.

There are two tiers to the fund. Most applicants are encouraged to apply for the General tier from which the majority of grants will be given. Applications may be for a sum of up to £2,000.

Additionally, there is a Trailblazer tier for exceptional candidates who have already proven themselves to be remarkably inventive and entrepreneurially-minded during lockdown, with a body of work that illustrates this. A very small number of applicants at this level will receive a larger grant of up to £10,000 to build strategically on their achievements in lockdown, and also to play an inspirational and advisory role to General grantees.

Please note, this is not a hardship fund, nor is it simply intended to further your musical acumen. Duly, the fund is not available for music tuition, musical coaching, purchasing music or instruments, commissioning new music or new musical arrangements, or traditional presentation of concerts.

If you are interested in applying for the fund at either level, it is vital that you start by downloading and reading the guidelines linked here and at the bottom of this page. Once you have done that and are ready to apply, you should use the online form linked below.

The closing date for applications is midday on Wednesday 24 February 2021. We regret we cannot under any circumstances accept late applications for this fund. We aim to notify applicants of outcomes by the end of April.

If you have any queries not addressed in the guidelines, you can contact us on admin@philharmonicsociety.uk and we will get back to you as soon as we can.