Six new composers appointed to the LSO Panufnik Composers Scheme

The London Symphony Orchestra is pleased to announce the six composers who will take part in its annual Panufnik Composers Scheme in 2020, part of the Orchestra's all-round development programme for young composers.

From a record number of applications, we are delighted to announce that the following composers will join the scheme for the 2020/21 season: 

Stef ConnerStef Conner

Composer/singer Stef Conner combines imaginative reworking and scholarly interpretation of ancient musical evidence to create new music drawn from the deep past. Her recent Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship at the University of Huddersfield involved creating new settings of Old English poetry for voices and lyre. Her music has been released on Naxos, Delphian, and Discovery Records, published by the University of York Music Press, and featured on television and radio. She specialises in vocal music, most often performing her own work, but has also been fortunate to collaborate with instrumental ensembles including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Nieuw Ensemble, and Ligeti Quartet. She sings with Sequentia (dir. Ben Bagby), whose charismatic interpretations of medieval texts exert a profound influence on her music. From 2008–2010, she performed with the Mercury Prize-nominated folk band the Unthanks, developing an enduring devotion to English traditional song.


Christian DrewChristian Drew

Christian Drew is a British-American composer, performer and teacher based in London. He recently completed a Master of Composition with Distinction as a Leverhulme Arts Scholar at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he studied with Laurence Crane. Here he received the Mary Ryan Composition Award and the Rose Lawrence Horners’ Academic Award. Recent works have been performed by Plus Minus Ensemble, EXAUDI Vocal Ensemble, London Symphony Orchestra Players, Juice Vocal Ensemble, Theatre of the Ayre and soprano Juliet Fraser at the Wigmore Hall, the Place Theatre, the National Centre for Early Music, 840 Series and Cheltenham Music Festival. Christian gained his undergraduate degree from the University of Southampton, studying with Matthew Shlomowitz, Benjamin Oliver and Michael Finnissy. Upon graduation he received the Hazel Muras-Osborn Composition Prize, the Lyttel Prize and the Edward Wood Memorial Prize for academic achievement.


Patrick John JonesPatrick John Jones

Patrick John Jones writes music for acoustic instruments that is most often performed in concert halls, and occasionally in museums, art galleries, and libraries. He is interested in vivid sounds, delicate sounds, visceral rhythmic energy, and different ways of approaching the idea of narrative. The influences on his work span from the very old to the very new, and extend beyond music into Bauhaus art, Old English, science fiction, natural phenomena, illuminated Medieval manuscripts, and concrete poetry. He is currently artist-in-residence at the John Rylands Special Archives in Manchester, writing music in response to a wide range of religious art, including plainchant, illustrations of the apocalypse, and the poems of dsh.

Patrick holds a PhD in Composition from the University of York, which was supervised by Thomas Simaku. His work has been performed by ensembles such as Psappha, the Philharmonia Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, Ensemble 10/10, the Diotima Quartet, and Octandre.


Emma-Kate MatthewsEmma-Kate Matthews

Emma-Kate Matthews' research concerns the discovery and exploitation of creative reciprocities between music as constructed sound, and architecture as constructed space. She is currently undertaking a PhD at the Bartlett School of Architecture UCL, under the supervision of Professors Bob Sheil and Yeoryia Manolopoulou and Professor Neil Heyde from the Royal Academy of Music. Emma-Kate’s spatialised compositions have been performed at the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona and London’s Southbank Centre. Emma-Kate is a multi-instrumentalist and has released a number of albums, most recently East of the Active on Algebra Records. Her work has been exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts and the RIBA and has also been published in multiple peer-reviewed journals including Architectural Design (Wiley), Design Ecologies (Intellect books) and Organised Sound Journal (Cambridge University Press). She recently completed commissions for the Guildhall School of Music, Musicity and the Barbican Centre as part of the Sound Unbound festival.


Chris McCormackChris McCormack

Chris McCormack is an Irish composer, based in London. His work has been performed internationally by Crash Ensemble, players of the London Symphony Orchestra, Plus Minus Ensemble, EXAUDI, Liam Byrne, Ensemble Adesso and others. Recent engagements include a commission by the Irish National Concert Hall, Crash Ensemble and the Irish state broadcaster, RTÉ, to create a new work, Like Elastic, for the New Music Dublin festival 2019, and a new, long-form piece for the pianist Andrew Zolinsky,

Chris studied composition with Dr. Richard Baker at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, on scholarships from the Ralph Vaughan Williams Trust and the Guildhall School Trust, and at Trinity College, Dublin with Dr Donnacha Dennehy and Dr Evangelia Rigaki.


Alex PaxtonAlex Paxton

Alex Paxton is a composer and improvising-trombone soloist based in UK. His music is stylistically pluralist and, informed by life as a jazz musician/ improviser, drawing upon an enormous range of contemporary, aural and pop music traditions. In 2019, he was elected to the Ninth International Composition Seminar and awarded a commission ILolliPop, performed by Ensemble Modern. In 2019, he played and recorded his concerto OD ODY PINk’d for jazz trombonist and the Royal National Scottish Orchestra (RSNO). He has written music for ensembles including Ensemble Modern, LPO, Ensemble x.y, RSNO, BSO, ListenPony, OSO, Psappha, NYJO. His piece SPAKE represented the UK in the Orchestral section of ISCM. Alex has been a Leverhume Arts Scholar and received the Harriet Cohen International Music Award. He has written six operas hosted by ENO, Helios, Tête à Tête, Second Movement and Pelican Music.

Alex’s Dream Musics Ensemble, who have performed at Café Oto’s Kammer Klang, uniquely combines synthy-sounds with leading virtuosic jazz. Extensively, Alex writes art-music for musicians in community settings, including innovative ways of writing for young instrumentalists and singers in a post-Roald Dahl world of new-music.

About the LSO Panufnik Composers Scheme

The Panufnik Composers Scheme offers six emerging composers each year the opportunity to write for a world-class symphony orchestra. Guided by renowned composers Colin Matthews and Christian Mason, 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 rehearsal at the culmination of the scheme. Two of the compositions are then chosen to be developed further, before being premiered by the Orchestra in an LSO concert at the Barbican. 

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Dates for your diary:

Soundhub Showcase: Phase II
Saturday 15 February, LSO St Luke's

After a sell-out Phase I showcase, LSO Soundhub composers Alex Ho and Sun Keting return with new music written for LSO musicians, plus varied works by LSO Soundhub Associates.

James Hoyle world premiere
Thursday 27 February, Barbican

Elim Chan conducts the world premiere of James Hoyle's Thymiaterion, commissioned through the Panufnik Composers Scheme.

Panufnik Composers Workshop
Thursday 26 March, LSO St Luke's

Composers on the 2019 scheme hear their new work rehearsed by the LSO and François-Xavier Roth, plus works by two composers who were awarded the ten-minute and five-minute commissions at the 2019 workshop.

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

Helen Hamlyn Trust 50