RSNO Composers’ Hub

Aimed at composers in the early stages of their career, the RSNO Composers’ Hub is a fantastic opportunity to compose music for orchestra in a range of different contexts, developing skills and creative relationships, as well as acquiring an understanding of the business of a major arts organisation.

Now in its third year, five emerging composers have been chosen to join the hub and spend the 2017:18 Season with the RSNO. Whilst working with the RSNO, each composer will write a 7-10 minute piece for full symphony orchestra. The scheme will culminate in a public workshop at the RSNO Centre in Glasgow, April 2018, from which one work will be chosen to be performed in the RSNO’s 2018:19 Season.

Royal Scottish National Orchestra is supported by PRS for Music Foundation.

Composer Opportunities

This scheme is not simply about creating new works, but having the opportunity to develop meaningful collaborations with the RSNO and other Composers' Hub participants. Those selected will build relationships with the musicians, staff and RSNO audiences, whilst receiving guidance in artistic development and career advancement. There will be the opportunity to:

  • Collaborate in the development of new works
  • Work on projects with RSNO’s partner organisations
  • Observe rehearsals and concerts
  • Spend time with RSNO’s Music Director, Assistant Conductor, and RSNO musicians
  • Be mentored by composer Gary Carpenter, as well as key RSNO musicians
  • Participate in a workshop day with an internationally-renowned composer
  • Work with smaller groups of RSNO musicians
  • Shadow key members of RSNO staff in different departments, including finance and external relations
  • Work with the RSNO’s Learning and Engagement Department
  • Have regular sessions with visiting performers, composers and RSNO musicians; workshops on various aspects of the music business
  • Have access to RSNO’s recording and digital equipment


  • Composers must be resident within the UK, and be available to travel to Glasgow for specified periods throughout the Season
  • There is no restriction on age
  • Travel and accommodation expenses will be reimbursed for each composer on the scheme

Applications for Composers’ Hub 2018:19 will open in October 2018.

Lillie Harris, who was one of the first participants of Composers’ Hub and who received the opportunity to have her work performed at the RSNO’s 2015:16 Season finale:
"It has been a real honour to have been part of Composers’ Hub - the people and performers of the RSNO have all been incredibly welcoming and generous. The amount of practical workshop time the RSNO gave all five of us feels unprecedented, and I know I have grown so much as a composer as a result.”

2017:18 RSNO Composers’ Hub

Anna Appleby

Anna Appleby is a Manchester-based composer and the 2016/17 Music Fellow with Rambert Dance Company. Originally from Newcastle upon Tyne, Anna has written for the Royal Northern Sinfonia, as well as artists including the Cavaleri Quartet, the BBC Singers, Manchester Camerata, the Hermes Experiment, the Sunday Boys, Jonathan Powell and A4 Brass.

Her work has been performed on BBC Radio 3, and at venues including the Holywell Music Room, the Southbank Centre, the National Theatre River Stage, RNCM Concert Hall, RADA Studios, HOME theatre and the Sage Gateshead. Anna has recently been a composer in residence with Streetwise Opera, Quay Voices, Brighter Sound and the Cohan Collective. Collaboration is at the heart of her creative practice.

Michael Cryne

Michael recently completed doctoral study with Mark Bowden and Helen Grime at Royal Holloway, University of London. His work often draws inspiration from natural forces or man-made structure, and he has become fascinated by the intersection between the two. He was a participant in the London Symphony Orchestra’s Panufnik scheme in 2015, writing the short work Fire Whirls for the orchestra. He also took part in the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s Leverhulme young composer scheme in 2016, writing the trombone concertino Prometheus Bound for the LPO and their principal trombonist Mark Templeton.

Recent works include Celia’s Toyshop for the Riot Ensemble (February 2017), Slipstream for Ruthless Jabiru (April 2017), commissioned as part of the Sound & Music Portfolio scheme, and In Cloud Light (May 2017) for alto flute and electronics, as part of Psappha ensemble’s ‘Composing For…’ scheme. He is currently writing a collection of pieces for oboist James Turnbull, and a setting of Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska’s View with a Grain of Sand for soprano and electronics.

Daniel Figols-Cuevas

Daniel Figols-Cuevas is a Catalan composer and sound artist born in Barcelona. He studied cello and Physics in Barcelona University before starting composition studies with Luis Naón in ESMuC (Barcelona), with Mathias Spahlinger in Freiburg (Germany) and with Stefano Gervasoni in Paris Conservatoire (France).

Simultaneously he studied orchestration with Denis Cohen and electronics with Yan Maresz at IRCAM, where he focused his effort and interest in real-time electronics, interactive music installations, computer assisted composition and automated orchestration techniques.

His music, mostly inspired by a fruitful combination of astrophysics and psychoacoustics, has been commissioned and performed world-wide by Klangforum Wien (Austria), Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart (Germany), Ensemble Vocal Exaudi (UK), Nouvel Ensemble Moderne (Québec), Orchestre National Lorraine (France), SWR Symphonieorchester Stuttgart, BCN216 (Barcelona), Vertixe Sonora (Spain), Lontano Ensemble (UK), Musica Qu Lacoza (Japan), Quatuor Tana (Belgium), UMS ’n JIP (Switzerland) and Ensemble Diagonal (France).

He has received international awards and scholarships, notably the Impuls Award 2012 in Vienna, Via-nova Orchestra Composition Competition in Weimar, the Societé Royale d’Harmonie Composition Prize in Belgium and the King’s College London PhD Award and the Caja Madrid Foundation scholarships.
After obtaining his Master degree in composition at CNSMDP in 2012, he is currently finishing his PhD in composition at King’s College London under George Benjamin and Silvina Milstein supervision.

Nick Morrish Rarity

Nick is a composer working with acoustic instruments, junk materials and found recordings. Recent pieces have focused on sound as an expression of time, with unfolding and slowly morphing processes creating panels of interwoven sound.

Pieces have been played by Ensemble Nikel, Divertimento Ensemble, Kokoro (BSO), United Instruments of Lucilin, London Chamber Orchestra, The Philharmonia, Workers Union Ensemble, Octandre Ensemble, CHROMA, BBCSO, and at venues such as Impuls (Graz), Rondo (Milan), Rainy Days Festival (Luxembourg), Kings Place, Cheltenham Festival, Collisions Festival, Cadogan Hall, The Asylum, Barbican Centre, National Maritime Museum and the Holywell Music Room.

He is the recipient of several prizes that include the Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize, New Dots Composition Prize (2013, 2016), Inspired by Digital Composition Prize, Sound and Music’s Portfolio, Gestalt Arts, Formazione International Composers Academy, Luxembourg Composition Academy, and is a Sound and Music/British Music Collection New Voice 2016-2017.

Nick is a doctoral candidate and RCM Scholar at the Royal College of Music, where his work is supervised by Jonathan Cole. Prior to this he studied at Jesus College, Oxford and at Trinity Laban, where he won the MMus Prize and the Elias Fawcett Prize for Composition. He is a member of the professorial staff at Trinity Laban, and leads seminars at the RCM.

Neil Tòmas Smith

Neil Tòmas Smith is a Scottish composer of chamber, orchestral and choral works.  He studied in York and Stuttgart, the latter leading to a keen interest in German contemporary music.

Neil won first prize in the Acht Brücken Composition Competition with Gravitation, which was played by Schlagquartett Köln and broadcast on WDR 3. His orchestral work, Habitus, was also broadcast in a performance by the WDR Symphony Orchestra.

Recently, Neil taught on the Aldeburgh Young Musicians/Britten Sinfonia Academy Summer School and is currently taking part in Making Music’s and Sound and Music’s ‘Adopt a Composer’ scheme. He continues to perform, playing flute with new music group Dark Inventions.

© Royal Scottish National Orchestra 2018