Composing For Piano

May 23, 2016 in All Opportunities, Composers by mwhiteside

Applications for Psappha’s Composing for Piano scheme are now open.


The scheme will support and develop six emerging composers who are interested in learning more about writing for piano.


This highly competitive scheme is open to UK-based music creators who have completed their first degree and/or who have left higher education within the last three years.


Aim of the Project

The aim of the project is to give the selected composers direct contact with Psappha’s highly experienced pianist Benjamin Powell in order to support their development. Each composer will write a piece for solo piano (with or without light preparation*) or for piano and electronics** which will be filmed and sound recorded by Psappha. The films will be hosted on Psappha’s YouTube channel so they can be embedded in the composers’ websites (click to watch the films we created for the Composing for Violin, Composing for Cello and Composing for Clarinet schemes). The works created through the process will also be considered for inclusion in a Psappha performance.

* All preparation must be agreed and approved in advance by Psappha.

** Electronics must be limited to two PA speakers (provided by Psappha) and a laptop (which composers will need to provide) due to the size of the space.

How will it work?

Up to six composers will be selected to work with Benjamin between July 2016 and December 2016. There will be three 40 minute one-to-one sessions plus a final rehearsal/recording. The timeline is as follows:


Session 1 will take place at Psappha’s Manchester base with each composer meeting with Benjamin to discuss and test out initial ideas and concepts. This will be a face to face session. This session will take place on Friday 9th July 2016.


– For session 2 we are willing to experiment with remote working with Facetime, Skype etc. So, it won’t be necessary to come to Manchester for this session. Composers will be required to submit ideas and manuscripts via email 2 weeks prior to the session which will take place in September 2016.


– For session 3 we would prefer this to be another face-to face session but if this is not possible we are willing to experiment with remote working as set out above. Again, the composers are required to submit final drafts of the works two weeks prior to the session which will take place in October 2016.


– For the final rehearsal and recording we expect all composers to be present in Manchester – this session will take place in December 2016. Composers must submit final works in hard copy four weeks prior to this session.


Who is eligible?

This is a development opportunity for music creators who have completed their first degree and/or who have left higher education within the last three years and who are at an early stage of their composing career. Music creators taking part in the scheme must be based in the UK. The scheme is not open to undergraduate students or to composers who have been establishing their post-HE careers for longer than three years. Nor is it open to composers who have worked with us on the Composing for Clarinet, Composing for Cello and Composing for Violin schemes. We encourage applications from music creators from different musical genres.


What is required from the composers?

– A genuine commitment to the project.


– To write a work that lasts a maximum of 5 minutes and to agree to participate in the sessions outlined above meeting the required deadlines.


How to apply?

There is no standard application form. Written applications should include: your name and full contact details; a concise summary of your composing experience; a link to a short example of your music (score or mp3 or ideally both); and a brief description of how you believe this opportunity would support your development (max 300 words). The application should be sent as a single PDF document.


Psappha is happy to offer this development opportunity to composers for free and each of the selected composers will receive a bursary of £300.


Please email your application as a single PDF document to Tim Williams: by Wednesday 8th June 2016 the deadline is 5.30pm.




Psappha is a PRS for Music Foundation Talent Development partner.


PRS for Music Foundation provides funding opportunities and support for music creators. For more information about PRS for Music Foundation and the opportunities on offer click HERE.


Composing for Piano is also supported by The Mercers’ Company and by The RWV Trust.

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