Composers’ Academy

Composers’ Academy is an established programme for exceptional musicians from diverse backgrounds who are looking for the opportunity to develop their skills as composers and to create a new 10-minute piece as part of the Philharmonia’s Music of Today series.

Jamie Man rehearsing a composition at Royal Festival Hall

“This is a fantastic opportunity for the selected composers… the opportunity to workshop their music with world class musicians and to refine their work as part of the process, and to have a performance in such a revered venue, and to receive high quality recordings.”

Anna Clyne, Philharmonia Featured Composer 2022/23

Information for applicants

This established programme is for exceptional musicians from diverse backgrounds who are looking to develop their skills in composition through coaching and mentoring.

We warmly welcome applications from composers of all backgrounds, and are particularly committed to supporting composers from underrepresented demographics, such as women, those from the Global Majority, and people with disabilities. We actively invite applicants to declare such characteristics in their application form, though this is not compulsory. We are also keen to ensure the application process is as widely accessible as possible.

We ask that you provide three examples of your work (both sound file and score) as part of your application. Selected applicants will be invited to a remote interview to talk more about music and aspirations. Please note that the programme does take place in London, and you will be expected to be available in person for workshops, rehearsals with players and critical feedback.

There is no application fee or cost to those who apply to the programme.

How to apply

Composers Academy 2023/24 applications are now closed.

For any enquiries, please contact Linda Biney via:

Applications have now closed.

Listen to the recordings of our 2021 composers, released October 2022

Ayanna Witter-Johnson Equinox

Alex Paxton Levels of Affection

Explore our other Philharmonia Composers’ Academy releases here

Nneka Cummins on stage at Royal Festival Hall

Nneka Cummins, 2022/23 Composers' Academy fellow

About the programme

For classical music to endure, it must be relevant to the widest possible audience. We must foster the talent and audiences of the future, supporting new works to be written and platforming diverse voices which can have a wider reach, as well as widening the talent pool, to ensure that the very best of classical music is being developed and shared.

  • A series of masterclasses and workshops covering advanced composition technique, industry insights, and advice from professional musicians and contemporary composers
  • 1:1 support throughout the programme from a Composers’ Academy mentor
  • Dedicated time to rehearse your composition with an ensemble of Philharmonia musicians, a conductor and your mentor, and to receive feedback
  • A performance of your composition at the Royal Festival Hall in London
  • A professional recording of your commission, released through NMC

The Philharmonia supports Sound and Music’s Fair Access Principles, a code of best practice for running successful, open and inclusive artist development programmes, competitions and awards for composers.

We are committed to providing opportunities to underrepresented composers and, therefore, we will offer a place to at least one musician from a minority ethnic background, and at least one female and/or non-binary artist.

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

Composers 2023/24

Headshot of composer Yfat Soul Zisso

Yfat Soul Zisso


Ever since commencing on her music studies at the relatively late age of 15, Soul has been dedicated to her dream of becoming a composer. Her music, described as “curiously original” (Wales Online) and “daring and moving” (The Daily Telegraph), has been performed by the likes of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and Birmingham Contemporary Music Group around the world in venues including Symphony Hall, Hoddinott Hall and St John’s Smith Square.

Her interests include the use of quarter-tones, as well as breathing as a musical idea. In addition to composing, Soul is also a singer, specialising in performing contemporary repertoire.

Headshot of composer Florence Anna Maunders

Florence Anna Maunders


Multi-international award-winning composer Florence Anna Maunders studied at the RNCM. In 2018, after a long break, she returned to writing music, and has since enjoyed enormous success in the UK, across Europe, the USA and the rest of the world. Her rapidly growing reputation has led to collaborations with and commissions from leading ensembles and soloists including City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, London Chamber Orchestra, Third Coast Percussion, Villiers Quartet, Strange Trace Opera, The Brass Project, Kyan Quartet, Rarescale & Wantage Band. Alongside other roles, she is composer-in-residence with Fulham Brass Band, and is currently working towards a PhD at Cardiff University.

Headshot of composer Mathis Saunier taken outdoors

Mathis Saunier


Mathis Saunier is a French composer, based in London, UK. He is the artistic director, guitarist, and composer of the noise-pop band Mauvais Sang. He collaborates with international ensembles such as the London Symphony Orchestra, Ligeti Quartet, Exaudi, the Nouvel Ensemble de Neuchâtel (NEC), and the United Strings of Europe. He is a Britten Pears Young Artist 2023/24.

Passionate about cinema, his musical universe is a fusion of electronic music (with techno, ambient, and industrial influences) acoustics, and visual lighting, to which he attaches great importance. His music is performed in Europe and Canada.

Partners & supporters

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

Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne