Applications Open for the LSO Panufnik Composers Scheme

Could you compose a piece for one of the world's leading symphony orchestras? Applications for the LSO Panufnik Composers Scheme are now open, and we're recruiting from a wide range of musical backgrounds. Find out more and apply below.

The London Symphony Orchestra is delighted to announce that applications are now open for the 2019/20 LSO Panufnik Composers Scheme. The deadline for applications is midday on Wednesday 31 October 2018.


About the Scheme

The Panufnik Composers Scheme offers six emerging composers the opportunity to write for a world-class symphony orchestra. 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, the programme has now supported 81 composers since its launch in 2005.

Guided by renowned composer Colin Matthews, with additional tailored support, the scheme enables composers to experiment with orchestral writing skills through developing a three-minute composition over twelve months. 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 in March 2020) 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 Sunday 24 and Monday 25 February 2019 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.

What we're looking for

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. 

Am I eligible?

The scheme welcomes applications from composers from a wide range of musical approaches and backgrounds who are interested in writing for full symphony orchestra having never had a work performed by a professional orchestra before.

We are particularly interested in applications from composers from historically under-represented groups such as BAME (black, Asian or minority ethnic) composers, women composers, composers who are disabled and composers from diverse musical backgrounds who would like to develop their writing for a classical symphony orchestra.

In addition, applicants must:

  • Be over 18
  • Be UK-based British nationals, students or resident in the UK for at least three years
  • Not be on another LSO composer scheme and have sufficient time to dedicate to the opportunity
  • Not have already had a work performed with a professional symphony orchestra (although previous experience working with instrumental ensembles is beneficial, but not essential)

How to apply

For full details, please read the application guidelines. To apply, you'll need to complete the following by midday on Wednesday 31 October

  • Send us two scores: Please post us two contrasting scores, including one for large ensemble in hard copy.
  • Supply a reference: Please ask someone who knows your work well to email a reference about your potential and suitability for the programme
  • Complete the application form, including a CV, PDF copies of your scores, links to online aduo of the works if available, and answers to the application questions. 
  • Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form: This is not used in the selection process and is kept in an anonymous format for monitoring purposes only.



The LSO Panufnik Composers Scheme is generously supported by Lady Hamlyn and The Helen Hamlyn Trust.