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Writing the Future

Soprano Ella Taylor performing Alicia Jane Turner's Tell me when you get home

An open call for music creators

The London Sinfonietta is seeking four music creators to join the next round of Writing the Future, an opportunity to create a new work for an ensemble of up to six London Sinfonietta musicians and build a creative working relationships with the ensemble. In recognition of our on-going wish to challenge the status quo and champion change, we are looking for project ideas which would expand the possibilities for a contemporary music ensemble, reflecting our evolving role as an ensemble in the 21st Century, whilst also representing something new within your own practice. The project will culminate in a performance of each new work by the London Sinfonietta as part of our main season.

Our call is open to all music creators from all cultural and musical backgrounds who are passionate about their art form and would like the opportunity to apply that experience to writing for a contemporary music ensemble. We are particularly seeking relationships with artists from a non-classical background such as sound artists and improvising musicians, as well as music creators from historically under-represented groups or communities such as artists representing the Global Majority, LGBTQ+ communities, and those who identify as disabled. As part of the scheme we will support each music creator with a bursary, relevant artistic mentoring and a research and development budget.

Applications are now closed. For more information, please see our scheme description (below). To apply, please submit an application via the link in the document by Monday 22 January 2024.

Late applications will unfortunately not be accepted. Please aim to submit your application as far in advance of the deadline as possible to facilitate the processing of applications.

If you have any questions or enquiries about this initiative, please contact Judith Robinson

Meet us to find out more

If you’re not yet sure whether this scheme is right for you, or would like to hear from previous Writing the Future artists, or if you would just like to know more about us, you can meet us on the following dates:

  • In person, Friday 17 November at the Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer – 5:30pm (please note this session is now full)
  • Online (zoom), Wednesday 29 November at 1.30pm (max 90 mins)
  • Online (zoom), Tuesday 5 December at 7.00pm (max 90 mins)

If you want to attend any of these sessions, please send us an email to confirm your preference and we will send you more detailed information and / or links to the zoom sessions.  

To reserve your place, please email letting us know of any access requirements you may have. 

You are also welcome to send any other queries you may have about the scheme and your potential involvement in it to  


Time with musicians – I don’t know who would turn that down Mira Calix
Writing the Future 5 is generously supported by Michael & Patricia McLaren-Turner, Jerwood Arts and PRS Foundation.
London Sinfonietta gave me the opportunity to develop work outside of normal concert models and supported me from the inception of my idea to the performances. As an early-career composer, it was a valuable opportunity to create a large-scale work and collaborate with experienced professionals on the staging, lighting and direction. This was such an incredibly fulfilling project. Samantha Fernando, Writing the Future composer 2013/14
You are given the opportunity to dream big and fulfil the creation of projects that are ambitious, which is rare as an emerging composer, and having these performed as part of the London Sinfonietta’s season is invaluable for exposure. [The London Sinfonietta] are an ensemble truly dedicated to bold, new work and nurturing relationships with composers who are underrepresented and from different backgrounds, which is so needed in this industry. Alicia Jane Turner, Writing the Future composer 2019-22
Writing the Future has already been the most important project I've been involved in as a young composer, and this is even before the piece has been performed. Where most schemes ask a composer to write a piece for a set instrumentation that gets workshopped and performed often in a disappointingly sidelined 'Emerging Composer' concert, the London Sinfonietta clearly understands that the most interesting music comes more often from collaboration and discussion. The Sinfonietta have been interested to know what I want to write and what I think is important. They've listened and we've collaborated to make work that is truly what I'm 'about' as a young voice and also what the Sinfonietta is 'about' too. Being inquisitive, taking risks and trying to make the best and most interesting, relevant music possible. Luke Lewis, Writing the Future composer 2019-22
This has been such a wonderful scheme to have the privilege of being a part of. The biggest unique thing for me is that everything is set up to be so personalised and seem to be “specifically” about “My” music. Which I find is nice warm and nurturing for my work. I have been able to create a piece that really excited and stretches me, through working with both primary and secondary school children, leading improvisers and jazz musicians as well as being able to be mentored by George Lewis who is a massively important influence on my work & thinking as a composer and improviser and trombonist. Through this I have been able to produce a unique project that has been performed on a serious concert platform/ festival. More than anything else I feel I need people, producers and musicians to care about about my music - because it is such an intimate part of me - I feel the LS scheme is set up to do this authentically. Alex Paxton, Writing the Future composer 2019-22

Previous participants

Writing the Future 2019-22

  • Nwando Ebizie is a constellation point for a spectrum of multidisciplinary works that call for RADICAL change. She challenges her audience to question their perceived realities through art personas, experimental theatre, neuroscience, music and African diasporic ritualistic dance.

    Read more about the composer and her project here.
  • Alex Paxton (1990) is a composer and jazz trombonist and educator based in the UK. He was elected to the 9th International Composition Seminar and awarded commission ILOLLIPOP, performed by Alex & Ensemble Modern in 2020, he won the Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize, Dankworth Jazz Prize, appointed London Symphony Orchestra Panufnik composer. 

    Read more about the composer and his project here.

  • Alicia Jane Turner is an interdisciplinary sound artist whose work spans contemporary theatre, performance art and experimental music. They create and collaborate on projects that are raw, provocative and political through a feminist, queer lens.

    Read more about the composer and their project here.

  • Luke Lewis is a composer, arranger and conductor. Mainly instrumental, sometimes electronic, and occasionally both, his music has been performed internationally by ensembles such as the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhagen, Esbjerg Ensemble and Orkest de Ereprijs. 

    Read more about the composer and his project here.

Writing the Future 2017-19

Josephine Stevenson, Ed Nesbit, Patrick Brennan and Oliver Leith

Read more about our composers here.

Writing the Future 2013/14

Gregory Emfietzis, Adam Fergler, Samantha Fernando, Geoff Hannan, Aaron Holloway, Matthew Kaner, Amber Priestley, Andrew Thomas, Tristan Rhys Williams.
The above composers were commissioned to write for The New Music Show: the London Sinfonietta’s day-long festival featuring live performances, installations, film, and talks. In 2013 The New Music Show included a series of talks curated with the Royal Philharmonic Society as part of their bi-centenary, and marked the culmination of the Southbank Centre’s The Rest is Noise festival.

Writing the Future 2011/12 

Mark Bowden, Shiva Feshareki, Edmund Finnis, Tim Hodgkinson, Jordan Hunt, Edward Jessen, Isambard Khroustaliov, Duncan MacLeod, Bushra El Turk.