WANTED: Emerging UK-based Composers

composersScotland’s national orchestra launches second annual nurturing initiative for composers in the early stages of their career

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) today (Tuesday 9 August) launches the second annual initiative to develop the talents of emerging composers, RSNO Composers’ Hub.  Aimed at composers in the early stages of their career, this bespoke scheme is an opportunity for a group of composers to write for orchestra in a range of different contexts, develop skills and creative relationships, as well as acquire an understanding of the business of a major arts organisation.

Up to five emerging composers will be chosen to join RSNO Composers’ Hub and spend the 2016:17 Season with the Orchestra.  As well as working with RSNO’s smaller, contemporary group, Alchemy, each composer will write a ten-minute work for full symphony orchestra.  The scheme will culminate in a public workshop at the New Auditorium, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, in March 2017, from which one work will be chosen to be performed by the RSNO as part of its 2017:18 Season.

RSNO Composers’ Hub is also an opportunity to develop a meaningful collaboration with the RSNO and the other hub members over a sustained period and to get to know the Orchestra, staff and its audience, receiving guidance from different artistic and business areas.

RSNO Executive Producer Manus Carey: “After the very successful pilot, culminating in two performances of Lillie Harris’ remiscipate at the end of our 2015:16 Season, we are very excited to be launching the second year of our Composers’ Hub. This scheme aims to give support to Scottish and UK-wide composers, and to provide the creative space for them to explore and develop. The breadth of the scheme will also mean it is an opportunity for our audiences to extend their knowledge of contemporary music and the compositional process.”

Previous RSNO Composers’ Hub member Lillie Harris, whose work remiscipate, inspired by the demolition of Glasgow’s Red Road flats, was selected to be performed at the last concert of the Orchestra’s 2015:16 Season, said: “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 this year as a result.

“As a young composer, to be offered the chance to write such a substantial piece for a large orchestra, and not only hear it played, but to participate in a workshop with some of the best orchestral players around, giving us practical and useful feedback in real time, was utterly invaluable. I am so grateful for the time and attention all five of us were given by the players, conductor Jean-Claude Picard, composers Brett Dean and Stuart MacRae, and all the team at RSNO throughout our time with them. It’s fantastic to learn that Composers’ Hub will run again next year, as such a positive and beneficial scheme for composers deserves to continue, training fresh talent."

To apply for this year’s Composers’ Hub, applicants should submit a CV, one-page letter explaining why the scheme would be suitable, and two examples of own compositions (preferably at least one for full orchestra), with scores and sound samples via email only to the RSNO’s Artistic Planning Manager, Catherine Ferrell, at Catherine.ferrell@rsno.org.uk. The closing date for applications is Friday 19th August at 5.00pm.


In October 2016 the RSNO begins the second of its two-season 125th anniversary celebrations, opening with RSNO Music Director Peter Oundjian leading the Orchestra in performances of Rachmaninov’s Symphony No2 and Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with soloist Nicola Benedetti, at the Usher Hall, Edinburgh on Friday 7 October and at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Saturday 8 October.

For more information on RSNO concerts and events, visit www.rsno.org.uk.