Adopt a Composer scheme

The scheme pairs amateur choirs, orchestras or ensembles with up-and-coming composers for 12 months to collaborate and produce a new piece of music, culminating in a premiere performance and a broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

The project is run by Making Music in partnership with Sound and Music, in association with BBC Radio 3, and funded by the PRS Foundation, Philip and Dorothy Green Trust and Creative Scotland.

Composers are mentored by Colin Riley, David Horne and Fraser Trainer with costs and expenses covered by the PRS Foundation, and retain all rights to the score.

I am currently talking to other choirs about getting another performance. This would mean the world to me, as it is not an understatement to say Adopt a Composer was about the most exciting experience of my life.

Rebecca Dale - paired with Music For Everyone, 2012/13

The process

  • July/August: applicant interviews (London)
  • September: pairings announced at launch event (London)- meet your group!
  • November: the group hosts a workshop introducing you to their members
  • January: you and your group workshop/rehearse the pieces in progress
  • February - April: further workshops and rehearsing of the draft piece
  • May - September: premiere concert (usually recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio 3)

Who else is involved?

Each pairing will be appointed with a mentor who will be there in the initial meetings when the composer and performing group are getting to know each other. They act as a source of ongoing advice to both composer and group as the work is composed, in musical and practical terms.

The mentor will be somebody who is experienced in this field. They will attend sessions with the composer and be available for e-mail and telephone contact.

Financial info

Fees for the composer and mentoring composer and all expenses related to the placement of the composer will be paid by the project. Travelling expenses for scheduled visits to London will be paid for via Making Music/Sound and Music – details are provided on the launch day. 

The composer retains all rights to the score. 

How to apply

Applications for the 2017/18 scheme are now closed. Applications for 2018/19 will open in May 2018.