LSO Panufnik Composers Scheme – now open for applications for 2018

Explore the possibilities of composing for one of the world’s leading symphony orchestras! Applications for the 2018 Panufnik Composers Scheme 2018 are now open.

We are recruiting six composers from a wide range of musical approaches and backgrounds, who demonstrate:

  • a high level of compositional ability in writing notated work in contemporary classical or other musical genres
  • a desire to broaden their compositional experience and write for large-scale symphony orchestra, bringing their own unique musical voice to the challenge of orchestral writing.
  • the enthusiasm to participate fully within the Scheme’s activities and workshops, contributing their own musical ideas and adding to the experience for other composers on the Scheme.
  • the potential to write a three-minute full orchestral work for the public workshop; with some additional support where needed throughout the year for composers who may have less experience in writing for large-scale orchestral forces.

Application deadline: 12 noon, Wednesday 13 December 2017

Over twelve months, successful applicants will have access to tutors including Colin Matthews (composition director), Christian Mason (composition support) and/or other mentors or tutors suited to individual musical styles and needs. The year also includes workshops from LSO players and open access to LSO rehearsals and concerts, enabling each composer to experiment over time and develop orchestral writing skills.

The scheme will culminate with a public workshop (on a date between 20–25 March 2019) during which a three minute work by each composer will be rehearsed by conductor François-Xavier Roth and the London Symphony Orchestra at LSO St Luke’s, London.

Participation begins with a two-day induction on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 February 2018 at LSO St Luke’s, to include composer introductions, workshops with LSO players and developing public presentation skills. Attendance is essential for selected composers, so please keep these dates free until hearing the results of your application in late January.

Each selected composer will receive a bursary of £1,000, plus travel costs for those living outside London.

Eligibility:

To be eligible for the Panufnik Composers Scheme you must:

  • Be over 18
  • Be a British national, studying in the UK or resident in the UK for at least three years already
  • Not currently be a Soundhub Member or on the LSO Jerwood Composer+ Scheme (Soundhub Associates may apply)
  • Not have already worked with a professional symphony orchestra (previous experience working with instrumental ensembles is beneficial, but not essential); or if you have had work performed by a professional orchestra please explain in your application how you believe you would benefit from the scheme.
  • We particularly encourage applications from under-represented groups including composers from outside the Western classical tradition, BAME composers (black, Asian and minority ethnic) and female composers.

How to apply in three steps:

1. Post us two contrasting scores including one for large ensemble, if possible, in hard copy to Natalia Franklin Pierce, Panufnik Application, London Symphony Orchestra, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS. If you would like your scores returned to you, please include a stamped self-addressed envelope for us to do so. NB if not included, scores will need to be collected by e-mailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or they will be recycled by March 2018.

2. Ask a referee to write to us directly by e-mail (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or letter (address above). We suggest this is somebody who knows your music well and can explain why they think you would benefit from the scheme at this time.

3. Complete the online Panufnik application form below, requiring:

a. Your CV
b. Names of the two posted scores and optional URL links to their recordings/sound files
c. A statement about what you would hope to gain through participating in the Scheme in 2018.
d. Option to outline any specific additional support or mentoring you feel would help you realise a three minute orchestral piece with a professional orchestra, if you were to be selected.

Your application will only be considered if we have received all three parts (scores, reference and online application form) by 12 noon Wednesday 13 December 2017.

Upon submission of your online application form, you will receive an auto-response e-mail including a link to complete an anonymised Equal opportunities form. The form is not used in the selection process and is kept in an anonymous format for monitoring purposes only.

If you have any questions about the scheme, application process, or your suitability for it, please get in touch by e-mailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.