Panufnik Composers Scheme
A supported opportunity to compose for a full symphony orchestra.
The Panufnik Composers Scheme offers six early-career composers each year the opportunity to write for a symphony orchestra.
The scheme is guided by renowned composer Colin Matthews, with support from Christian Mason. Together with additional tailored support, the scheme enables composers to experiment with and develop their orchestral writing skills through creating a three-minute composition over twelve months.
The resulting compositions are performed and discussed by the LSO and Principal Guest Conductor, François-Xavier Roth, in a public workshop at the culmination of the scheme. Two of the compositions are then chosen to be developed further, with commissions given for five- and ten-minute works to be premiered by the Orchestra in an LSO concert at the Barbican.
Who Is It For?
The scheme welcomes applications from composers with a diverse range of musical approaches and backgrounds who are interested in writing for a full symphony orchestra, but have never had a full orchestral work performed in concert by a professional orchestra before.
We are particularly interested in applications from composers from historically under-represented groups such as ethnically diverse composers, women or non-binary composers, disabled composers and composers from outside the classical tradition
We support Sound and Music’s Fair Access Principles, a code of best practice for running successful, open and inclusive artist development programmes, competitions and awards for composers.
Scheme Participants, Alumni & Commissions
Rafael Marino Arcaro*
After the workshop in May 2023, Lara Agar and Rafael Marino Arcaro have been awarded 5-munute and 10-minute commissions of new works.
2020/21: Stef Conner~, Christian Drew*, Patrick John Jones, Emma-Kate Matthews, Chris McCormack, Alex Paxton
2019/20: Joe Bates, Caroline Bordignon, James Chan, Ninfea Cruttwell-Reade, Louise Drewett*, Jonathan Woolgar~
2018/19: Joel Järventausta*, Cassie Kinoshi, Lara Poe, Ido Romano, George Stevenson~, Alex Tay
2017/18: James Hoyle~, Grace-Evangeline Mason^, Sophya Polevaya*, Emma Wilde, Alexander Woolf, Han Xu
2016/17: Benjamin Ashby, Amy Bryce^, Gonçalo Gato, Daniel Kidane, Liam Mattison~, Donghoon Shin*
2015/16: Patrick Giguère~, Deborah Pritchard^, Daniel Moreira, Daniel-Lewis Fardon, Bethan Morgan-Williams, Ewan Campbell*
2014/15: Michael Cryne, Michael Cutting, Vitalija Glovacytė, Alex Roth^, Jack Sheen*, Michael Taplin~
2013/14: Kim Ashton, Benjamin Graves, Jae-Moon Lee, James Moriarty~, Elizabeth Ogonek*, Richard Whalley
2012/13: Patrick Brennan~, Leo Chadburn, David Coonan, Bushra El-Turk, Ryan Latimer, Aaron Parker*
2011/12: Matthew Kaner*, Michael Langemann, Joanna Lee, Alastair Putt~, Duncan Ward, Mihyun Woo
2010/11: Nancie Eloise Gynn~, Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian, Christopher Mayo, Edward Nesbit*, Dan Stern, Elizabeth Winters~
2009/10: Edmund Finnis, Francisco Coll Garcia~, Fung Lam, Vlad Maistorovici*, Max de Wardener^, Toby Young
2008/09: Andrew McCormack*, Joshua Penduck, Matthew Sargeant, Sasha Siem+, Ayanna Witter-Johnson, Raymond Yiu^
2007/08: Elspeth Brooke, Emily Howard+, Tom Lane, Charlie Piper*, Evis Sammoutis, Anjula Semmens
2006/07: Larry Goves, Emily Hall+, Christian Mason+^, Matthew Rogers, Martin Suckling+, Jason Yarde*+
2005 (pilot): Daniel Basford, John Douglas Templeton, Philip Venables
+UBS Soundscapes: Pioneers Commission
^LSO Artist Commission
Two of each year’s composer cohort are commissioned to write an additional 5- or 10-minute piece, to be played by the LSO on the Barbican mainstage in the following season. Additional commissions from LSO Discovery are sometimes offered for other programme strands. We are proud of the pantheon of works produced as a result of this scheme since 2007:
Christian Drew AQUARIUM DRIFTER (world premiere 7 April 2024)
Louise Drewett The Daymark (world premiere 24 November 2022)
Joel Järventausta Sunfall (world premiere 3 April 2022)
Sophya Polevaya Spellbound Tableaux (world premiere 19 December 2019)
Donghoon Shin Kafka’s Dream (world premiere 24 March 2019)
Ewan Campbell Frail Skies (world premiere 25 March 2018)
Jack Sheen Lung (world premiere 25 September 2016)
Elizabeth Ogonek Sleep & Unremembrance (world premiere 13 March 2016)
Aaron Parker 51°58’N/1°19’E-300514 (world premiere 18 December 2014)
Matthew Kaner The Calligrapher’s Manuscript (world premiere 19 September 2013)
Edward Nesbit Parallels (world premiere 29 November 2012)
Vlad Maistorovici Halo (world premiere 13 March 2011)
Andrew McCormack Incentive (world premiere 10 December 2009)
Charlie Piper The Twittering Machine (world premiere 26 October 2008)
Jason Yarde All Souls Seek Joy (world premiere 28 November 2007
5 minute commissions:
Stef Conner Hateful Grace (world premiere 7 April 2024)
Jonathan Woolgar Symphonic Message: “Wach auf!” (world premiere 28 May 2023)
George Stevenson Vanishing City (world premiere 13 June 2021)
James Hoyle Thymiaterion (world premiere 27 February 2020)
Liam Mattison Violet (world premiere 9 June 2019)
Patrick Giguère Revealing (world premiere 15 April 2018)
Michael Taplin Ebbing Tides (world premiere 14 December 2016)
James Moriarty Windows (world premiere 6 December 2015)
Patrick Brennan Ballabile (world premiere 5 February 2015)
Alastair Putt Spiral (world premiere 12 June 2014)
Eloise Nancie Gynn Anahata (world premiere 24 March 2012)
Francisco Coll Hidd’n Blue (world premiere 15 January 2012)
LSO artist commissions:
Composers commissioned to write a piece for an artist or artists for performance at the Barbican or LSO St Luke’s.
Eloise Gynn Light Dancing (BMW Classics 2023)
Daniel Kidane Sun Poem (LSO 2022/23 season opening)
Ayanna Witter-Johnson FAIYA! (BMW Classics 2022)
Cassie Kinoshi Fanfares (Barbican Centre 40th celebration, 2022)
Daniel Kidane Sun Poem (LSO 2022/23 season opening)
Emily Howard Antisphere (LSO 2019/20 season opening, Barbican & Sir Simon Rattle, 2019)
Amy Bryce From First Breath (LSO Community Choir, 2016)
Deborah Pritchard There is a River (LSO Community Choir, 2015)
Alex Roth Elegy (LSO Community Choir, 2014)
Max de Wardener I Bilaskhani Todi (Kala Ramnath & LSO Strings, 2011)
Raymond Yiu Maomao Yu (Lang Lang & Silk Strings, 2009)
Jason Yarde All Souls Seek Joy (Hugh Masekela, 2007)
The Music of Tomorrow – LSO Futures with François-Xavier Roth
Fresh. Volatile. Glittering.
Sunday 7 April 2024 • 7pm
Vivid, moreish music by Unsuk Chin and Donghoon Shin, plus beguiling works by emerging talents, conducted by François-Xavier Roth.
LSO Panufnik Composers Workshops
Thursday 4 April 2024 • 10am
In these free public workshops, witness a pivotal point in the process of writing a new three-minute orchestral piece, as the LSO play works by the latest cohort of Panufnik composers.
Free Friday Lunchtime Concert: Soundhub
Friday 15 March 2024 • 12.30pm
A bite-size, informal concert, celebrating new music from our Soundhub composers. Featuring friendly introductions to guide you through the music from our presenter Rachel Leach plus an open Q&A session.
‘My composer husband, Andrzej Panufnik, received three commissions and recorded most of his symphonic music with the LSO. He worried about how young composers could nowadays attain essential experience with highest level orchestras: this project fulfils his dream.’ – Lady Panufnik
The LSO Panufnik Composers Scheme was devised by the Orchestra in association with Lady Panufnik, in memory of her late husband, the composer Sir Andrzej Panufnik, and generously supported by Lady Hamlyn and The Helen Hamlyn Trust.
Header image © Matt Jolly