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Applications for Liverpool Philharmonic’s Rushworth Composition Prize Open Now
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Applications for Liverpool Philharmonic’s Rushworth Composition Prize Open Now

Wednesday 25 May 2022

Applications are open now for Liverpool Philharmonic’s Rushworth Composition Prize, in association with the Rushworth Foundation.

The Rushworth Composition Prize provides an exceptional range of opportunities for an early-career composer aged 18+ who writes original music, to develop their talent.  The Prize has no upper age limit for applicants. 

£1,000 will be awarded to the winner, who will write a new work for Ensemble 10:10 (Liverpool Philharmonic’s contemporary music ensemble) which will be performed in Autumn 2023. Ensemble 10:10 are pleased to have a new home at the newly built Tung Auditorium as part of the partnership with the University of Liverpool. 

In addition, the winner will take part in a programme of workshops, masterclasses and mentoring sessions from composers, performers, conductors and other industry professionals associated with Liverpool Philharmonic.  

The winner will receive further payment for a bespoke programme of activities beyond the sessions related to the Ensemble 10:10 commission, to support their attendance at Liverpool Philharmonic sessions and events. 

The composer will also receive one year’s complimentary membership of The Ivors Academy (www.ivorsacademy.com), the UK’s leading professional association for music creators including thousands of songwriters and composers across all styles and genres. 

After winning the prize, previous winners have had further opportunities to produce additional new works and commissions for Liverpool Philharmonic ensembles. 

Entry Criteria  

To enter, applicants should be able to demonstrate that they are at an early stage of their career as a composer, be at least 18 years old on 1 October 2022, and currently live, work, or have been born in the North West of England (Merseyside, Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cumbria), or be a registered student at a Northwest-based Higher Education institution. 

How to apply  

To be considered, applicants must submit a supporting statement, a CV including a list of works and, audio recordings and scores of two examples of original works. Submission can also be made via video.  

Applications for the Rushworth Composition Prize close at on Friday 15th July 2022. For more information, visit https://www.liverpoolphil.com/take-part/rushworth-composition-prize/ 

Athanasia Kontou, 2019 Rushworth Composition prize winner, commented “Winning the Rushworth Composition Prize has been an all-round incredible experience. Ensemble 10:10 are a brilliant ensemble and it was a privilege to write for them. The premiere of my work was fantastic, a definite highlight of my career so far. The prize also gave me the chance to meet and connect with people from the industry whom I admire.” 

Peter Garden, Executive Director – Performance and Learning at Liverpool Philharmonic commented “Liverpool Philharmonic is deeply committed to commissioning new music and supporting emerging talent. Now in its eighth consecutive year, it has been brilliant to see past Rushworth Composition Prize winners successfully establish their careers in the industry and create some terrific music with our contemporary music group, Ensemble 10:10, and a wide range of collaborators following their time with us. We can’t wait to receive this year’s applications.”

Jonathan Rushworth of the Rushworth Foundation commented “The Rushworth Foundation supports music, the arts and education in Liverpool, and we are delighted to support the Rushworth Composition Prize once again. This competition offers a wonderful opportunity for North West-based composers embarking on their careers and we are proud to be a part of it.”

Since it was launched in 2015, there have been seven recipients of the prize: Nneka Cummins (2021), Alex Papp (2020), Athanasia Kontou (2019), Carmel Smickersgill (2018), Grace-Evangeline Mason (2017), Richard Miller (2016) and Bethan Morgan-Williams (2015). Liverpool Philharmonic also supports local composers and songwriters through Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Company. 



Notes to Editors  

The Rushworth Composition Prize in association with the Rushworth Foundation was established in 2015 and was formerly known as the Christopher Brooks Composition Prize. It forms part of Liverpool Philharmonic’s continuing commitment to the commissioning and performance of new music as well and supporting home-grown talent. The competition is open to a North West based composer aged 18 and over who currently lives, works or were born in the North West of England (Merseyside, Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cumbria), or a registered student at a Northwest-based Higher Education institution.  

Liverpool Philharmonic are signatories to Sound and Music’s Fair Access Principles  


Previous winners:  

  • Bethan Morgan-Williams, Mirages of Pisa world premiere performed by Ensemble 10:10, October 2015. 

  • Richard Miller, Nighthawks world premiere performed by Ensemble 10:10, 11 October 2017. 

  • Grace-Evangeline Mason, On Weightless Wings world premiere performed by Ensemble 10:10, 11 October 2018. 

  • Carmel Smickersgill, Charcoal, world premiere performed by Ensemble 10:10, 6 November 2019.  

  • Athanasia Kontou, Antigone: Pure in her crime, world premiere performed by Ensemble 10:10, 21 April 2022. 

  • Alexander Papp,The Myth of Bertie and Bella world premiere performed by Ensemble 10:10, 6 October 2021.  

  • Nneka Cummins, New Work to world premiere due to be performed by Ensemble 10:10 on 26 October 2022. 


About Liverpool Philharmonic  

Liverpool Philharmonic enhances and transforms lives through music. 

At the heart of our programme is the critically-acclaimed Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (the UK’s oldest) and Choir; work with young people through our Youth Company and In Harmony Liverpool; support for people experiencing mental ill health through work with the NHS; and presentation of over 400 diverse concerts and events each year at our home, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, one of the UK’s leading concert halls.

About the Rushworth Foundation  

The Rushworth Foundation was established by Jonathan Rushworth to support music, the arts and education in Liverpool. It builds on the legacy and heritage of the Rushworth family music business, started by Jonathan’s great-great-grandfather in 1840 as a pipe organ builder, which expanded into a musical instrument maker and dealer. The business was central to music in Liverpool for over a century, supporting and arranging concerts and music festivals, competitions and societies.  


Media enquiries and further information from:  

Lauren Woods, Head of Communications and External Affairs, Liverpool Philharmonic  



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