Six 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 2022, part of the Orchestra's all-round development programme supporting the next generation of musical talent.

From a record number of applications, we are delighted to announce that the following composers will join the scheme for the 2022/23 season: 

Lara AgarLara Agar

Lara Agar is a London-based, Suffolk-raised composer from the UK. Her music is most at home in abstraction, using indeterminacy, vocality and electronics to create imaginary sound worlds. She has worked with several artists and musicians forming close and ongoing collaborative relationships across dance, visual arts and film.

Recent commissions have been from Juliet Fraser (Carson Commissions), Matsena Productions for Shades of Blue at Sadler’s Wells (previously on BBC ARTS Dancing Nation) and Codi, for the National Dance Company of Wales. She has worked with artists such as Louis D’heudieres and Lola de la Mata, Mark Knoop, Quatuor Bozzini, EXAUDI and the Plus-Minus Ensemble in venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Barbican, Milton Court and Iklectik. Lara held a Junior Fellowship (2019/20) at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, following her artist master’s degree in Composition as a Leverhulme Arts Scholar with Paul Newland, Cassandra Miller and Laurence Crane.


Robert CrehanRobert Crehan

Robert Crehan (born 1991) is a British composer from Luton, Bedfordshire. His recent work explores abrupt cuts and interruptions, combined with sharply contrasting materials to create abstracted and broken narratives, evocative of editing techniques used in visual art and media.

His music has been performed around the UK and internationally by musicians including Kathryn Williams, Ben Smith, Fumiko Miyachi, 315 Ensemble, EXAUDI vocal ensemble, Plus-Minus ensemble, Quatour Bozzini, members of the London Symphony Orchestra and Orkest de Ereprijs. His work has also been heard on BBC Radio 3 and Birmingham Scratch Radio.

Robert studied composition at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and Guildhall School of Music & Drama where he became a Junior Fellow following his graduation in 2020. His postgraduate studies were generously supported by scholarships awarded by the Leverhulme Trust and the Guildhall School Trust.


Litha EfthymiouLitha Efthymiou

Litha Efthymiou is a London-based composer. She has received commissions from numerous acclaimed soloists, ensembles and organisations including the Bristol Ensemble, Consortium 5, Streetwise Opera, Sound World, the International Guitar Foundation, and more. Her music has been performed in venues such as Kings Place, Royal Albert Hall’s Elgar Room, Handel and Hendrix in London, Southampton’s Turner Simms, Sage Gateshead, and Bristol St George's. She has taken part in various composer schemes, including Sound and Music’s Adopt a Music Creator scheme, Psappha’s composer scheme, and Wild Plum’s Made at the Redhouse composer residency.

She has won awards from Arts Council England, PRS Women Make Music, the National Lottery, Hinrichsen Foundation, RVW Trust, and the Wellcome Trust to create large-scale multidisciplinary performances, working with collaborators from the fields of film, theatre and dance.

Litha undertook her PhD in composition at the University of Bristol, supervised by composer John Pickard.


Robin HaighRobin Haigh

Robin Haigh (born 1993) writes music of 'scintillating unpredictability' (Tom Service, BBC Radio 3) that has also been described as 'timeless', 'dream-like' (Musical Opinion Magazine), 'irreverent', 'provocative' (Chicago Theatre Review), and 'remarkably discombobulating' (Seen and Heard International).

His internationally-performed work first came to public attention in 2017 when, aged 24, his recorder quintet In Feyre Foreste won a British Composer Award, being described by the judges as 'completely refreshing' and 'magical'. His chamber orchestra piece Grin, commissioned by the Britten Sinfonia, earned him an Ivor Novello Award in 2020, being hailed as a 'quirky, playful, bold and original work with a highly distinctive musical language and sound'. Since then he has been winner of the BDRS Competition, Dante Moro Competition and William Mathias Composition Prize. Upcoming premieres include THE DREAMERS, a concerto for four trombones and large ensemble for Aldeburgh Festival (where he is a Britten Pears Young Artist), and AESOP 2 for Orchester im Treppenhaus.


Edwin HillierEdwin Hillier

Edwin Hillier is a composer of acoustic and electronic music, active in Glasgow and London. His work has been presented internationally, including performances at hcmf//, Royaumont Festival, at the Wigmore Hall, Kings Place, Roulette NYC, Nonclassical, and by artists including the London Sinfonietta, Red Note Ensemble, EXAUDI, Explore Ensemble and Talea Ensemble. Recent pieces have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, France Musique, and recorded on NMC. He was the recipient of a Scottish Award for New Music in both 2021 (Dorico Award for Small/Medium Scale Work) and 2020 (Electroacoustic/Sound Artwork).

A graduate of the University of Cambridge, Edwin was awarded a scholarship to the Royal College of Music to pursue his postgraduate studies, attaining a doctorate in Composition in 2021 under the supervision of Jonathan Cole. He has received further tuition from Pierluigi Billone, Raphaël Cendo, Frédéric Durieux and Rebecca Saunders, among others. At the RCM, Edwin teaches Academic Studies units at undergraduate level, supervises second-study composers, and is Module Leader for the postgraduate Musical Analysis course.


Rafael Marino ArcaroRafael Marino Arcaro

Rafael Marino Arcaro is a Brazilian composer based in London. His music is inspired by his research on native Amazonian communities, as well as folk and literary Brazilian culture. Rafael is in pursuit of an original vision for Brazilian artistic identity and musical temperament within the framework of international contemporary music. He often composes in thick brushstrokes and focuses on sharply-defined aesthetic ideas and clearly outlined musical materials. He is also interested in the exploration of the extremes of musical expression and strives to never repeat himself while maintaining his artistic signature.

Currently, Rafael is a London Philharmonic Orchestra Young Composer for the 2021/22 season and is working toward his PhD at King’s College London with Sir George Benjamin. He holds a masters in Composition from the Royal Academy of Music and has recently finished recording his Op 10 – a 30-minute cello and piano sonata – funded by the RVW Trust.

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. It is guided by renowned composers Colin Matthews, with support from Christian Mason and Errollyn Wallen, who joins in 2022/23 for the first time. Together with additional tailored support, the scheme enables composers to experiment with orchestral writing skills through developing a three-minute composition over fourteen months. Collaborative relationships are developed with LSO musicians and the resulting compositions are performed and discussed by the LSO and its Principal Guest Conductor François-Xavier Roth in a public workshop rehearsal at the culmination of the scheme. Following this, two of the composers will receive a commission from the LSO which will be premiered during the Orchestra’s London season of concerts at the Barbican.

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Dates for Your Diary:

Panufnik Composers Workshop
Thursday 31 March, LSO St Luke's

Composers from the 2020 cohort hear their new three-minute pieces rehearsed by the LSO and François-Xavier Roth, plus works by the two composers from the 2019 cohort who were awarded ten-minute and five-minute commissions. Music by: Stef Conner, Christian Drew, Patrick John Jones, Emma-Kate Matthews, Chris McCormack, Alex Paxton, Jonathan Woolgar and Louise Drewett.

LSO Futures

Sunday 3 April, Barbican

The world premiere of Sunfall by Joel Järventausta, commissioned following the 2018/19 cohort workshop. Plus premieres by Francisco Coll (2009/10) and Helen Grime.

George Stevenson, Tchaikovksy & Prokofiev

Sunday 10 April, Barbican

Another chance to hear Vanishing City by George Stevenson, who was commissioned following the 2018/19 cohort workshop.

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

Helen Hamlyn Trust 50


Header image: Panufnik Workshop 2021 © Matt Jolly