LSO Panufnik Composers Scheme – now open for applications for 2018

**UPDATE 14/12/2017: Applications for the 2018 scheme have now closed**
The article below has been left for reference. Please note we are no long accepting applications

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.


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 (-British nationals living abroad may apply but will need to consider whether they can travel to London regularly to make the most of the opportunity – at least ten occasions over the course of the programme. There is a limited travel budget to cover reasonable travel expenses within the UK only).
  • 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.

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.