Composers’ Academy

We support three exceptional emerging composers each year.

A percussionist playing the tubular bells

Composers’ Academy, presented in partnership with the Royal Philharmonic Society and allied to the Philharmonia’s Music of Today contemporary music series, offers the opportunity for three talented emerging composers each year to write an original chamber work for an ensemble of Philharmonia players.

“It definitely has contributed to my career development. It provides a lot of insights into different aspects of the music industry.”

Academy alumnus 2018/19


Composers' Academy 2016/17

Watch the Composers' Academy participants from 2016 in conversation with former Principal Trumpet, Alistair Mackie
Photo of Composers' Academy score
Compositional sketches by Composers' Academy graduate Eugene Birman

About the programme

Under the guidance of Unsuk Chin, Artistic Director of the Music of Today series, and other visiting composers, the selected composers develop their chamber works over their 10-month participation in the Composers’ Academy. They benefit from seminars and tutorials, instrument exploration sessions, and a works-in-progress workshop with Philharmonia players.

In addition, the programme offers a range of industry insight sessions looking at music publishing, the recording business and marketing, in collaboration with our colleagues at the Royal Philharmonic Society, NMC Records, PRS and Schott Music.

Composers are selected via an extremely competitive adjudication process, led by our partner, the Royal Philharmonic Society. The successful applicants embark on a year of training and mentoring, culminating in a commission. Each participant produces a new, 10-minute work to be premiered by an ensemble of Philharmonia musicians in a Music of Today concert at Royal Festival Hall.

Composers' Academy score
Compositional sketches by Composers' Academy graduate Donghoon Shin

Upcoming Composers' Academy performances

How to apply

To find out more about the audition criteria and how to apply, please visit the Royal Philharmonic Society website.

Find out more

Partners & supporters

The Philharmonia’s Composers’ Academy is generously supported by:

The John S Cohen Foundation

The Boris Karloff Charitable Foundation

Ernst von Siemens logo
Royal Philharmonic Society logo
Wise Music Group logo

Wise Music Group to mark the retirement of James Rushton