2020/21 London Philharmonic Orchestra Young Composers Programme



The London Philharmonic Orchestra Young Composers programme offers emerging composers the opportunity to develop and workshop a new piece with the Orchestra's musicians across a year, leading to a public performance at a central London venue, showcasing the new works. In the 2020/21 season, the LPO is delighted to welcome Brett Dean as the programme’s Composer Mentor.  The participant composers will work closely with the Composer Mentor across the year to develop their works in a series of seminars and workshops. 


In partnership with the Adam Mickiewicz Institute as part of the Polska Music programme (AMI), the LPO Young Composers Programme offers the opportunity for one Polish composer to participate in the scheme. 


The Programme

Each composer will be required to compose a new piece of music to a brief set by the Composer Mentor, of up to eight minutes duration.  The piece will be written for a chamber orchestra of c. 30 musicians, comprising London Philharmonic Orchestra players and members of the Foyle Future Firsts Development Programme (the Orchestra’s parallel graduate scheme for aspiring orchestral players).

Along with seminars with the Composer Mentor, the participant composers will take part in a 3-hour workshop in early Spring 2021 - where the composers will hear their works in progress, talk with players and receive advice and feedback from Brett Dean. This will be followed by a rehearsal period leading to the final concert performance in July 2021 at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall. In addition, there will be a range of other activities designed to offer participant composers a rounded view of the industry in which they work and to hone their broader skills, musicianship and knowledge.
These wider opportunities will include:
-        An exploratory ‘Composition Lab’ session with LPO players
-        Opportunities to engage with professional composers working with the Orchestra
-        Wider professional skills sessions  

* Composers of Polish nationality (Polish passport holders), based in Europe, under the age of 35 on 1 September 2020;

* Composers must be at post-graduate level or beyond, and unpublished;

* Composers must be keen to engage with the wider work of the Orchestra, and looking to develop a broad range of professional skills;

*, Composers must possess strong English skills.


The successful candidate will have sufficient prior experience of writing for large ensemble and of working with performing musicians (professional or non-professional) to be able to take full advantage of the opportunities of the scheme. S/he will also be at a stage where the programme represents a significant opportunity to build on this existing experience and progress to the next stage of their composing careers.


The successful candidate will be obliged to sign an agreement with the AMI regarding their participation in the London Philharmonic Orchestra Young Composers Programme and the composition of a new piece accordingly to the rules of the above mentioned Programme. A condition of participation in the Programme is the conclusion of an agreement with the AMI. S/he shall include information about AMI’s support in all speeches and statements about his/her participation in scheme and the piece composed as part of the Programme or when a new project is the result of the composer's participation in the Programme. In the event of failure or inadequate implementation of the object of this Agreement, excluding force majeure, the participating composer shall pay to AMI any documented costs incurred by AMI in connection with the implementation of contract and return any funds received from AMI.


In the event of the occurrence of force majeure, e.g. sudden and unexpected events which could not be prevented or avoided, in particular civil riots, natural disasters, fires, acts of terror and counterterrorist actions, epidemics etc, the London Philharmonic Orchestra or Adam Mickewicz Institute may be forced to cancel the LPO Young Composers Programme activities entirely, or in part.. In the event of such exceptional circumstances, the London Philharmonic Orchestra may also offer alternative activities to those advertised, which may include online engagement for participating composers. Cancellation and/or alternative activities will be considered on a case by case basis, depending on the circumstances. 


Application requirements

* A PDF score of a piece by the applicant composer (not Sibelius or similar programmes, please) and an accompanying MP3 audio file of a live performance of the same piece. Please do not send WAV audio files. Large files may be sent by WeTransfer or similar websites as long as it is clear to which composer’s application they belong. The piece may be scored for anything between 10 instruments and a full orchestra.  Please note we do not judge the piece on the basis of the recording – please do not be concerned if either the technical recording or performance quality are not of the highest standard.;

* A brief C.V. of the composer (please send this in bullet point. format (max. 2 sides) and NOT in prose); 


* A letter of recommendation from the composer’s current or most recent tutor, outlining their engagement with the composer so far, and what they feel the composer would bring to this scheme at this point in their career;

* A personal statement by the composer, indicating why the composer feels they would benefit from a place on this scheme in particular, and what they feel they would personally bring to the programme and to the LPO. The panel will be looking for awareness of the specific nature of this programme.


* A completed LPO demographic form available at https://lporchestra.wufoo.com/forms/x1e70fl600ccbak/



Please note that applications which do not follow the submission requirements above may not be considered.

Selection process


Please send your applications to Julia Ablewska [email protected]  


The application deadline for Polish composers is 23.59 on Thursday 23 April 2020


A selection panel will shortlist 5 Polish candidates, from which 1 will be chosen by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Composer Mentor Brett Dean. Short-listed composers will be asked to take part in a phone interview. 


Costs for travel and accommodation in the UK for the Polish participant? during programme activity will be covered by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute after the successful composer has signed the AMI programme agreement.


The scheme represents a significant investment for the Institute Adam Mickiewicz and significant resource from the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Composer Mentor. We therefore ask that all candidates are able to prioritise their participation over and above other commitments. Dates will be communicated well in advance of the start of the programme.


AMI may decide to cancel the open call at any time.


For any queries regarding this project please contact Julia Ablewska: [email protected]

About the Partners:


London Philharmonic Orchestra


The London Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the world's finest symphony orchestras, balancing a long and distinguished history with a reputation as one of the UK's most adventurous and forward-looking orchestras. 


As well as giving classical concerts and opera performances in the UK and internationally, we also record film and video game soundtracks, have our own record label, and reach thousands of people every year through activities for schools and our local communities.

The Orchestra was founded by Sir Thomas Beecham in 1932, and since then has been headed by many of the great names in the conducting world, including Sir Adrian Boult, Bernard Haitink, Sir Georg Solti, Klaus Tennstedt and Kurt Masur. The Orchestra's current Principal Conductor is Vladimir Jurowski, appointed in 2007. Andrés Orozco-Estrada became our Principal Guest Conductor in September 2015. Brett Dean will become the Orchestra’s Composer in Residence in autumn 2020.







Polska Music 


The Polska Music programme actively supports performances of Polish classical music by renowned international artists worldwide, aiming to increase its popularity across the globe. As well as initiating international stage productions and concerts, commissioning new work, and nurturing contemporary composers, Polska Music also promotes recordings, books and events. Polska Music has collaborated with a host of high-profile partners around the world, including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, Santa Cecilia Orchestra, Cité de la Musique – Philharmonie de Paris, Ensemble Musikfabrik, Klangforum Wien, Chandos Records, Bregenz Festival, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Lincoln Center Festival, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Royal Opera House, Opera Australia, Welsch National Opera oraz Rambert Dance Company.


The Polska Music programme was established in 2011 by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, a national cultural institution promoting Polish culture abroad and actively contributing to the international cultural cooperation.


For more information on presentations of Polish culture worldwide, please visit the Institute’s website culture.pl For detailed information on the Polska Music programme, please refer to: