Past Schemes


We have been running our “Composing For…” talent development schemes since 2013, supporting the creation of new works for solo instruments and duos by emerging and early career composers by providing sustained, one-to-one contact with our expert musicians. The works created through our schemes are listed below. You can watch HD multicamera films and listen to audio by clicking the relevant icons.

We encourage applications from a diverse range of composers, and in 2017-18 year introduced a non-Western instrument (Chinese guzheng) into our talent development programme for the first time. From 2017-18 we have collected anonymous equal opportunities data for all applicants (prior to this we collected equal opps data for participants but not for applicants). This is enabling us to track who currently applies and who doesn’t yet do so, and who is and isn’t successful in the selection process, and is helping us to target those who are currently under-represented in our future schemes.

The summary data below is for 2017-18 participants, with applicants figure in brackets:


  • Male 79% (81%)
  • Female 21% (19%)
  • Gender different from the gender assumed to be at birth 16% (8%)


  • White British 71% (71%)
  • Asian/Asian British – Chinese 4% (6%)
  • White Irish 8% (4%)
  • “Any other white” 4% (12.5%)
  • “mixed – any other mixed background” 0% (4%)

[note – 2% of applicants and 4% of participants preferred not to state their ethnicity, and the ethnicity of a further 8% of participants is not known]


  • Identify as having a disability (incl mental health condition) 12% (14.5%)
  • Identify as not being disabled 75% (83%)

[note – 2% of applicants and 4% of participants preferred not to state their disability status, and the disability status of a further 8% of participants is not known]

Sexual Orientation:

  • Identify as LGBT 17% (15%)
  • Identify as straight/heterosexual 54% (60%)

[note – 25% of applicants and 21% of participants preferred not to state their sexual orientation, and the sexual orientation of a further 8% of participants is not known]

We will publish a full set of equal opportunities data for our 2018-19 Composing for schemes at the end of the programme. In the meantime we confirm that:

  • 69% of applicants were male and 31% were female;
  • 37.5% of composers on the programme are female and 62.5% are male;
  • This represents a significant shift from our 2017-18 schemes when 19% of applicants and 21% of participants were female but we recognise that we still have a way to go before we achieve our target of 50:50 representation.

To encourage more applicants from a diverse range of candidates we have taken the following steps in advertising our 2018-19 schemes:

  • We contacted female composers who Psappha has worked with previously (emerging composers and established composers) and asked them to retweet our composer call (and we were delighted to receive lots of enthusiastic retweets);
  • We contacted all 40 of our fellow PRS Foundation Talent Development Partners asking them to share the scheme with their networks and highlighting the fact that we are keen to encourage as wide a range of applications as possible;
  • We contacted female composer networks such as Illuminate Women and asked them to promote the scheme to their networks (they did so, and we provided reciprocal promotion); and
  • We contacted a variety of organisations such as NonClassical, Chineke!, and Sound and Music to encourage them to promote the scheme to their networks.

Our selection process is rigorous and robust. Psappha’s Artistic Director considers each application very carefully, taking time to listen to sound recordings and to read scores and written applications in detail. We were delighted to receive 90 applications to our 2018-19 programme, a record number for us. With only 24 places available we had to make some hard decisions and there were many excellent applicants to whom we were, regrettably, unable to offer places. So, we congratulate those composers who will be participating in our 2018-19 programme, and we would encourage all composers to look out for our future schemes.

We will publish data relating to ethnicity, disability, and sexual orientation at the end of the 2018-19 scheme (in line with the data published for 2017-18) as we believe that transparency is an important tool to effect change.

Composing for French Horn (2018)

Messer, Samuel Stray
Bullen, Richard Carne Levare
Laidlow, Robert Invisible Horizon
Miller, Richard E. Rats Alley
McDonnell, Anselm Testimony
Wee, Bertram inept fragment

Composing for Guzheng (2018)

Randle, Rhiannon Sepia
McPherson, Henry Crocus
Friel, Patrick Gazing at Mountains

Composing for Flute & Clarinet (2018)

Polevaya, Sophya Pocket Nursery Rhymes
Paxton, Alex TWOChant with Paints
Hunt, Edmund The Fields Beneath Lough Foyle
Davies, Shaun micro-stressors
Stevenson, George Algol
Gravina, Euchar the one was the other

Composing for Violin & Cello (2018)

Jones, Patrick John The Vanity of Small Differences
Murphy, Lewis In Sea
Robertson, Ailie 100 Colours, All of them Grey
Aileen, Sweeney Numb
Fenton, Hutson Constrained
Iball, James wellwolker

Composing for Piano (2017)

Allan, Robert Reid The Palace of Light
Coblentz, Hunter Quiet Music, Music for Piano
Fardon, Daniel Foil
Harris, Lillie Vitreous
Roche, David John Ten Acre Riots!
Forbes, Gregor Terraces

Composing for flute (2017)

Cryne, Michael In Cloud Light
Ho, Alex As if we had not been
Longworth, Peter Arabesque
Mattison, Liam Imagined Balcony scene #2 For Solo Piccolo
Leomo, Kevin Nocturne for alto flute
Barkley, Daniel Slither and Snap (2)

Composing for Percussion (2017)

Armstrong, Lucy Space Adventure
McPhee, Lucy Transmitting for percussion and looping pedal
Howard, Dani Shades
Mark, Brian Invocation
Bonet, Núria Satan Nasal Pie
Comerford, Rory Blues for Clavé

Composing for Trombone (2017)

Morgan-Williams, Bethan In Kenopsia
Valdez, José Rafael Subía Long to Reign Over Us
Hoyle, James Albany Eikon
Elton, Clare On the surface
Haines, Caroline Electro-Acoustic Study (Sludge)

Composing for Clarinet (2016)

Williamson, James Fault-Klang
Gaddas, James Scattered
Ekmektsoglou, Manolis Subtraction Melody
Slater, Angela Elizabeth Nacreous Contours
Cole, William Loure
McReynolds, Richard Recur

Composing for Cello (2016)

Harrold, Tom Speechless Skies
Roth, Alex Movement, Change, Light, Growth, Decay
Hirst, Jordan Crooked Trees
Mackay, Shona Cloud Hands
Hennell-Foley, Nicholas For Cello
Smith, Neil Tòmas Line as Shape in Time

Composing for Violin (2015)

Riley, Andrea Shaking the Patterns (world première)
Sully, Sophie Ythsie (world première)
Carroll, Mark A collection of violent impulses (world première)
Dyer, Mark Growing Space for Artefact (world première)
Martin, Barnaby LEDA ATOMICA (world première)

Composing for Cimbalom (2014)

Velastin, Xavier Relapse Regret (world premiere)
Bonet, Nuria Pota (world première)
Geyer, Leo Jasmine (World premiere)
Betteridge, Michael Mancunian Drizzle