MusicFest Aberystwyth Composition Course

April 20, 2016 in All Opportunities, Composers by mwhiteside

Musicfest Aberystwyth inaugural Advanced Composition Course for composers of postgraduate or early professional level, co-directed by Arlene Sierra (Cardiff University) and Kenneth Hesketh (Royal College of Music).

The course will consist of regular sessions alternating with workshops, as well as performance opportunities with detailed feedback from resident and visiting composers and performers. Students will work on a new composition for the resident ensemble which will be rehearsed and performed as part of the Musicfest Aberystwyth programme. Successful applicants will also receive additional workshop opportunities with festival ensembles and soloists suited to composers’ particular experience and approach. Orchestral reading opportunities will be available for short orchestrations or extracts from extant original work (the exact instrumentation will be provided at the time of acceptance).

Additionally, sessions will include:

  • Presentation/discussion of participants’ music
  • Workshops and talks with Musicfest guest performers
  • Seminars on collaboration and promotion
  • Seminars and presentations with visiting composition tutors
  • A premiere performed in the Musicfest Aberystwyth main programme in the Great Hall, Aberystwyth Arts Centre.
  • Performance opportunities for solo or duo work with Musicfest guest performers

Students will have access to pianos, keyboards, computers, printing facilities and audio equipment.

Details about specific projects will be provided at the time of acceptance into the programme.

For less experienced composers, enrolling as an observer is recommended, allowing active participation in classes and discussions, and the opportunity to learn from observing all classes and rehearsals.

Early application is advised as places are limited to seven students, selected by CV and portfolio comprised of two scores, with two audio recordings of recent works – at least one recording and score should be of the same material.

The cost of the course is £575 which includes a free pass to all concerts, recitals, masterclasses and talks during MusicFest during the 8 day course.Bursaries of £240 are available for all students in full-time education in UK. (bursaries of international students are also available) There is limited availability to these bursaries so we would advise early booking.Cost of accommodation is an additional £260 for standard rooms of £290 for ensuite accommodation for 8 days. All accommodation is in student halls. Guidance price for cost of course and accommodation (dependent on bursary allocation) is £595.

For more information or to book a place on the course see


MusicFest Aberystwyth is a unique festival  and international summer school which takes place annually in Aberystwyth with a main concert programme of popular and rarely heard works which take place in the Great Hall concert auditorium at Aberystwyth Arts Centre and a Fringe festival which takes place throughout the town  allowing opportunities for musicians to engage with new audiences through concerts and recitals in shops, in museums, on trains, on street corners, in the National Library of Wales, in galleries and hotels.  The MusicFest experience is eight days when all guest artists, summer school students and audiences can fully immerse themselves in music within a unique community atmosphere with the inspirational backdrop of the Cardigan coastline and the Snowdonia National Park.