RPS-Duet Prize Applications Now Open

23 Jun 2017

Applications now open for RPS-Duet Prizes for outstanding instrumentalists and composers aged 18 and under.

The biennial prizes for young instrumentalists and composers, first awarded in 2016, are part of ‘Ensemble Philharmonic’, an initiative by the RPS and The Duet Group, designed to build links between exceptional young musicians and secondary music departments, and the music profession through concerts, talks, masterclasses and creative collaborations. 

Apply now: Composer Prize
Apply now: Instrumentalist Prize

The RPS-Duet Prizes, supported by the Duet Group Charitable Foundation, aim to encourage and recognise musical excellence in formative years, and to offer invaluable recital experience and feedback to applicants. The inaugural RPS Duet Prizes in 2016 revealed a wealth of extraordinary young talent. The first RPS-Duet Prize winners were 16-year-old cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason from Nottingham (who went on to win the BBC Young Musician of the Year 2016) and 18-year-old Cheltenham composer Freya Ireland (an association which has been further developed with her appointment as RPS/Wigmore Hall Apprentice Composer-in-Residence). 

The winner of the Young Instrumentalist Prize will receive £1,500 to assist their musical development and a public recital at a National Music Festival. The winner of the Young Composer Prize will also receive £1,500 to assist their musical development and a UK performance of a commissioned composition, details to be agreed between the winner, and the RPS. 

The RPS-Duet Prizes are open to student musicians from schools and Hubs, but not specialist music schools, who are 18 or under on 31st August 2018.  The deadline for applications is Wednesday 15 November 2017, 12 noon.


Aaron P. Dworkin: RPS Honorary Member and Founder of the Sphinx Organization, which helps aspiring Black and Latino musicians in the USA.


An early Philharmonic superstar was the virtuoso double bassist Domenico Dragonetti. He brought his dog Carlo to performances, and commanded higher fees than almost any other player.