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Rushworth Composition Prize

Rushworth Composition Prize

The Rushworth Composition Prize in association with the Rushworth Foundation provides an exceptional range of opportunities for an early-career composer aged 18+ with no upper age limit, who writes original music.

The Prize offers an early- career composer the opportunity to build a long-term collaborative and creative relationship with Liverpool Philharmonic, which supports composers during the commission period and beyond. The Prize winner receives tailored support and resources from across the music professional.

Previous winners have worked with us after their year has ended, and benefited from continued support, guidance and commission opportunities.

What will the winner receive?

£1,000 will be awarded to the winner to 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 home at the newly built Tung Auditorium as part of the partnership with 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 payments 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 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.

Find out some more about our previous prize winners.

How to apply

Rushworth Composition Prize 2022/23

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants should demonstrate that they are:

  • be at an early stage of their career as a composer
  • be at least 18 on 1 October 2022, there is no upper age limit for applicants  
  • 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.

Application form

Please provide the following materials on the application form

  1. A supporting statement, outlining why you have applied, what you would hope to gain from this prize and from developing a relationship with Liverpool Philharmonic, and how you would describe your personal composition style and approach. The supporting statement can also be provided in an alternative format including video.

  2. A CV, including a list of works.
  3. Audio recordings and scores of two examples of original works for orchestral instruments, alongside a short explanation of why you have chosen to submit these works.
    1. Scores must be submitted electronically in PDF format only. 
    2. Audio recordings should be submitted as a digital file or link to an online version e.g. Soundcloud or similar. Digital recordings of works which have not had a live performance are acceptable.

To support fair access to the Rushworth Composition Prize, we also accept video applications as part of this process. Please see the application form (link above) for details.

Applications close at 5pm on Friday 15 July 2022.  Late applications will not be accepted.  Liverpool Philharmonic accepts no responsibility for applications not received.

Liverpool Philharmonic are signatories to Sound and Music’s Fair Access Principles, designed to act as a code of best practice for running successful, open and inclusive artist development programmes, competitions and awards for composers. 

For more information, or to discuss individual accessibility needs, please contact Nikita Richmond at learning@liverpoolphil.com or call 0151 210 2904.

Previous Panel Members have included:

Hilary Browning
(Associate Principal cellist with Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra)  - chair for 2021/22 panel

Peter Garden (Executive Director, Performance and Learning, Liverpool Philharmonic)

Andrew Cornall (Liverpool Philharmonic Artistic Consultant, Record Producer and former Vice President of A&R at EMI Classics)

Sally Groves (former Creative Director of Schott Music Publishers)

Stephen Pratt (Emeritus Professor of Music, Liverpool Hope University, Emeritus Professor, Gresham College, London)

Jonathan Rushworth (Founder of the Rushworth Foundation, which supports music, the arts and education in Liverpool)

Fiona Sinclair (Chief Executive, Leeds International Piano Competition)


Rushworth Foundation
Ivors Academy