Francis Chagrin Awards

francis chagrin
Next round of applications: September 2014
Produced by: 
Sound and Music

30th July 2014 - Next round of Francis Chagrin Awards

The next round of applications for the Francis Chagrin Award will reopen in early September.  For more information about the eligible costs you can apply for help towards, as a composer, please see our Eligibility Criteria below.
Sign up to our Opportunities mailing list to be the first to hear when the call goes live in September.  
Find out more about our past Francis Chagrin award recipients and what they used the Award for, below.

29th May 2014 - Announcement of recipients of the Francis Chagrin Award

The successful applicants for the March 2014 round of the Francis Chagrin Award are: Joanne Armitage, Michael Betteridge, Ryo Ikeshiro, John Lely, Artur Vidal and Seth Woods.

Joanne Armitage is a composer and researcher based in the Interdisciplinary Centre for Scientific Research in Music at the University of Leeds. As a PhD candidate, her compositional work explores the use of audience-based vibrating, or haptic technology interfaces as immersive and expressive creative tools. Her compositional work has been performed internationally; including her large-scale technology augmented work Transcending Domains at the International Computer Music Conference, Ljubljana, 2012.

With the support of the Francis Chagrin award, Joanne will be building additional, improved vibrating arrays for her currently unnamed, forthcoming composition.
Michael’s music has won various awards and has been performed at numerous venues nationally including The Bridgewater Hall, Howard Assembly Rooms in Leeds, Town Hall in Birmingham and LSO St Luke's in London.  This year will see multiple performances of his work in the USA, and a world premiere in Murcia, Spain.  He is musical director for ‘New Space Productions’ and co-founder and co-director of ‘Collectives & Curiosities’. The group was selected for the first year of the LSO Soundhub scheme which saw a year of development of their work before a premiere of an LSO commission in January 2014.  
The Francis Chagrin Award helped Michael towards the printing costs for open workshops of his new opera 'Zoe Trope'.  Performances were held in Manchester and London, the latter as part of Second Movement's 'rough for opera' scheme and it was also subsidised by Arts Council England.

Ryo Ikeshiro is a UK-based Japanese artist. His works range from live audiovisual performances and interactive installations to generative music pieces and scored compositions. He has presented his works internationally at media art and music festivals,as well as at academic conferences. His works have been released on the digital platform s[edition] and he is featured in the Electronic Music volume of the Cambridge Introductions to Music series. He curates exhibitions, screenings, and a series of events called A-B-A featuring performances, talks, and discussions. He has also published articles in journals such as Organised Sound.
Ryo is interested in the possibilities of computational and audiovisual art. The award will go towards purchasing an HDMI splitter and the Max 6 upgrade. The splitter will allow two projectors to be connected to his laptop to create an immersive environment comparable to surround sound in the visual domain. Max/MSP/Jitter is a graphical programming environment which is a convenient tool for creating works involving real-time sound, moving image and interaction.

John Lely is a composer, musician and curator, working primarily in experimental and electronic music. He often collaborates with various musicians and groups, including Apartment House, the Bozzini Quartet, Angharad Davies, Rhodri Davies, edges, Pedro Gomez-Egaña, Seth Kim-Cohen, Sebastian Lexer, Ross Parfitt, Michael Parsons, the Post Quartet, Michael Pisaro, Taylan Susam, Philip Thomas, Manfred Werder, John White and Seymour Wright.

He has curated and performed in concerts of music by such composers as Martin Arnold, Antoine Beuger, Cornelius Cardew, Philip Corner, Laurence Crane, Jürg Frey, Michael Pisaro, Tom Johnson, Alvin Lucier, Chris Newman and Christian Wolff. Alongside composers Tim Parkinson and Markus Trunk, he curates the Music We’d Like to Hear concert series.
He is co-author, with James Saunders, of Word Events: Perspectives on Verbal Notation (Continuum 2012).
The Francis Chagrin award will be used to fund studio equipment to aid in the development of a new piece for Apartment House, which will be premiered in Russia later this year. A previous piece created with the aid of the Francis Chagrin award called 'Assembly' will be played in the Spitalfields Festival in June by Magnitude Music.

Artur Vidal is a Spanish-born saxophone player and sound artist who grew up in Paris and currently resides in London. As such, he has performed and recorded extensively in the UK, France and Spain. He is an active member of the improvised music scene, playing and recording with artists and musicians who include Grundik Kasyansky, Jennifer Allum, Ruth Barberan, and Sébastien Branche, with whom he makes up the improvising saxophone duo ‘Relentless’. He has completed an MA in Sound Arts at The University of the Arts London (LCC) and currently is doing an Mphil/PhD about improvised music, silence(s) and sociality at the CRISAP research centre.

With this award he will buy a contact mic, an hydrophone and a coil pick-up to record improvised music sessions on specific sites foregrounding the practice of a 'quiet listening'.  

Critiqued as possessing "mature artistry and willingness to go to the brink", Seth Woods has established a reputation as aversatile artist straddling several genres. Outside the chamber and solo setting, he has worked with the Ictus Ensemble,Ensemble L'Arsenale, New York City Ballet and Orchestra of St. Lukes. A fierce advocate for contemporary arts, he has collaborated and worked with a wide range of artists ranging from the likes of Heinz Holliger, Elliott Carter, and Klaus Lang to Peter Gabriel, Sting, Lou Reed, Dame Shirley Bassey, Aldo Tambellini and Jack Early.
Thanks to the Sound and Music Francis Chagrin award, the allocated funds will go directly to offsetting the fees for acquiring the tranducers needed to create his latest work, Bodied Chambers for Cello, Electronics and tranducers.

12pm 20th March 2014 - Applications are now closed for the Francis Chagrin Award.


19th February 2014 - Applications to the Award are now open, with a deadline of noon 20 March 2014.  

 Sound and Music has re-launched the Francis Chagrin Awards. Composers will now be able to apply for support to help meet costs associated with creating new work.
"Sound and Music is committed to supporting the extraordinary range of practices that make up new music in the UK, and this new award aims to provide regular support towards the costs associated with the making of work. Whatever style you are working in, whatever background you are from, if you are struggling with the costs of composing a new work, I would urge you to consider an application.”
Richard Whitelaw, Sound and Music’s Head of Programmes
Eligibility Criteria
Applications for Francis Chagrin Awards will have two deadlines in 2014-2015 – in July and January.
  • Applicants can apply for financial support towards clearly evidenced and itemised costs. The criteria specify that the composers must be:
    UK resident 
  • not in regular paid employment equivalent to 3 days a week or more
  • not studying full time at undergraduate level
  • able to demonstrate clearly how the Award can be used to meet costs directly associated with making a specific new work, for example through copies of receipts or invoices, or through written evidence of future cost
  • Successful applicants may not apply for a year after receiving their award.
  • The maximum amount applicants can request is £500 but Sound and Music will only exceptionally make awards of that size (the average award size to date is £123). 
The Award may not be used to support travel for any purpose, or for promotional materials, including websites and recordings.
The award does not cover composers' commissioning fees but may be used to cover the fees of other people involved in the creative process.

Examples of costs for which the Award may be used include:

  • Photocopying material
  • Copying costs (for score-based work)
  • Studio time integral to the creation of a specified new work
  • Purchase of materials integral to the creation of a specified new work


Decisions are made by Sound and Music’s Trustees and will be based on the impact this would have on your professional development and clear evidence of how the application directly helps to meet the costs of making a particular new work.


The budget is limited in size to £1,500 per year. The Sound and Music Trustees are committed to maximizing the benefit to composers from these awards, so decision-making will also take into account value for money.

If you would like to apply to the Francis Chagrin Award, then please fill in our online application form before the deadline of noon 20th March 2014. 

The successful applicants for the November 2013 round of the Francis Chagrin Award were: Timothy Cape, Hannah Marshall and Robert Rusconi.
Timothy Cape image
Born in Donegal, Ireland and Graduate of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, London; Timothy Cape is a composer whose influences range from Progressive Rock, Jazz, and Contemporary music to Literature, Theatre and Contemporary Dance. He has created performances and installations in the Southbank Centre, Bonnie Bird Theatre, and Blackheath halls – and has been awarded the Daryl Runswick Composition prize in 2011 and the West Cork Chamber Music Festival Composition prize in 2013. He is a founding member of the Bastard Assignments Collective. Recently his music has developed a theatrical edge, blending text, gesture and lighting to create musical experiences inspired by the work of Samuel Beckett, George Aphergis, Thierry de Mey and Robert Ashley.
The Francis Chagrin Award will help him and Flautist Jenni Hogan develop a collaborative experiment exploring connections between rhythmic contours of conversational speech, hand gestures, and decay.
Hannah Marshall image
Hannah Marshall is a cellist who is continuing to extract and invent as many sounds and emotional qualities from her instrument as she can , playing experimental & freely improvised music and collaborating with other musicians, theatre and performing artists in the UK and Europe. She plays regularly with The London Improvisors Orchestra and has performed at various festivals including VNM-Graz, Freedom of the City - London, Fete Qua Qua, Nickelsdorf-Konfrontationen, Banlieue Bleu-Paris, Jazz em Agosto-Lisbon, Barcelona Horta Cordel, ring ring-belgrade, Wels Unlimited- Austria, Alpen Glow - UK/Austria, Taktlos, Nantes festival, Saalfelden jazz festival, Red Ear Amsterdam, thirstyfish festival - London, Konfrontationen, Europa Jazz Festival, Joyful Noise Festival- Swtizerland, Blurred Edges Festival- Hamburg. She has been invited by Fred Frith, Thomas Lehn and Suichi Chino in their residencies at café Oto, and by Evan Parker in his monthly residency at The Vortex Club. 
The Francis Chagrin Award will be used to develop material for 'Dancing Bears' a trio using composed, structured and improvised music. 
Robert Rusconi
Roberto David Rusconi is London based composer graduated in Composition, Piano, Choir Conducting and Electronic Music. His works have been performed world wide by Kalngforum WIen, Kairos, JACK and Amar, Ensemble Aventure, BIT 20, Insomnio, Malmo Symphony and Tonkustler Orchestra. Winner of international prizes and recipient of fellowships and residencies in 2011 he won first prize at the ZEITKlang in Wien, the second prize at the Pablo Casals by Hosokawa and Widman and a third prize by Murail at  BBVA Foundation Prize. Rusconi represented United Kingdom at ISCM World Music Days 2012 in Belgium and 2013 in Vienna. Recently his work was performed in 2013 at La Biennale di Venezia, Berlin and Wien Konzerthaus. Currently, Rusconi is working towards a PhD in Composition at Kings College.
The Francis Chagrin Award will be used to print score and parts for 'Ananke'. The World Premiere of which is at St Luke's 15th March 2014.

The successful applicants for the May 2013 round of the Francis Chagrin Award were: Ben Gaunt, Phil Julian, Pete McPartlan and Oliver Thurley.
Ben Gaunt studied at the Royal Northern College of Music and Manchester Metropolitan University. He is pursuing a PhD at The University of Sheffield under Dorothy Ker and George Nicholson. He is co-founder of Sounds of the Engine House, a performer/composer collective dedicated to promoting the music of living composers. His piece “Seven Shrinking Machines” was performed by The Icarus Ensemble at HCMF 2012. Upcoming performances include “Revolution” at The Bridgewater Hall foyer, and “The Old Cataclysm Blues” to be performed by Ensemble 10/10. 
Ben will use the award to fund the creation of a lengthy solo trombone piece for Heider Nasralla. 
Phil Julian is a UK based experimental sound artist, composer and musician. Under both the Cheapmachines alias and his own name, he has been active in various areas of unorthodox sound since the 1990′s with a prolific output encompassing sonic textures ranging from harsh squalls of noise to compositions structured around hyper-minimalistic timbres and drones.
During 2013 he is a Guest Composer at EMS Elektronmusikstudion in Stockholm. Funds granted by the Francis Chagrin Award will go towards the hire and recording of a 60” Tam Tam (Gong) which will form an integral part of the work being composed at EMS. 
Oliver Thurley is a young British composer, currently based in Leeds. Working with a hybrid of contemporary acoustic and electronic compositional techniques, Oliver's work explores spatiality, non-linear temporality, algorithmic procedure, and indeterminate systems.
With the help of Sound and Music, and the Francis Chagrin award, Oliver is currently developing an electromagnetically-prepared piano for his forthcoming work, Resonances I. Oliver’s most recent work for string quartet, Network no.1, can be heard here:
Pete McPartlan is a multidisciplinary artist and musician making live audio visual works that provoke interactions between sound and image. His aim is to blur roles between composer and improviser using live scores for improvisers and works where image and sound sources are confused. He also regularly improvises with Dexter Prior as silt - transposing elements from his live coding practice into acoustic music. 
Pete studied BA Fine art in Hull. Recent exhibitions and performances include at Machinic Drift at Network Music Festival and The Event in Birmingham, Futuresonic - Manchester and avant-garde cinema screenings including: Olsen - Leeds and Annexinema - Nottingham.
With the support from the Francis Chagrin Award Pete will be making dubplate records to piece together a live soundtrack to his audio visual piece Retinal Fields.

The successful applicants for the February round of the Francis Chagrin Award were: Michael Cutting, Sharon Gal, John Lely, Nao Masuda and James Welland.
Michael Cutting (1987) is a British composer, currently working towards a PhD in Composition at Kings College London, supervised by George Benjamin. In 2011 he graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music with a Mmus Distinction and the Soroptomist Prize. 
His works have been performed in venues such as Cadogan Hall, Purcell Room,  RNCM Concert Hall, The Anvil, and Dartington Hall and in festivals such as Park Lane Group's New Year Series 2012, RNCM's James MacMillan Festival and RNCM's Alexander Goehr Festival. Michael has worked with groups like Endymion Ensemble, Manchester Camerata, Lontano, Composers Ensemble, Fretwork, Lancashire Sinfonietta and, BBC Singers, and Hampshire County Youth Orchestra. He has won numerous composition awards, including the BBC Proms Composition Competition (2006) and Lancashire Sinfonietta's Christopher Brooks Memorial Prize (2008/09).
In 2012, Michael established the ACM Ensemble, which has had a growing reputation for its ambitious projects and close collaborations with composers. After being award an MBF Emerging Excellence Award, ACM is now working closely with Ensemble 10/10 for the 2013/14 season.
Sharon Gal is a cross-disciplinary artist, performer and musician. Her practice involves vocal and electronics free improvisation, collaborative group and site specific performances, field recordings and radio broadcast. She performs solo, and in regular collaborations with Steve Beresford, Steve Noble, Alex Ward, John Edwards, Dylan Nyoukis, Phil Minton and Feral Singers. 
Sharon is a founder member of London’s arts radio, Resonance 104.4 FM and has been presenting and producing various shows including Diggers, with Edwin “Savage Pencil” Pouncey, and Stereo Cilia, a weekly urban soundscape diary.
She has several audio releases:  Ash International, Paradigm records, Chocolate Monk, Emanem, Ecstatic Yod, and the recent 7” vinyl, Melancoholic, for American Tapes Label. 

John Lely (1976) studied at Goldsmiths University of London with Roger Redgate, Dave Smith and John Tilbury, and privately with Michael Parsons. In 2007 he was a resident student at Ostrava New Music Days, and in 2012 a resident composer at the Bozzini Quartet's Composer's Kitchen in Montreal and Huddersfield. 
His compositions have been featured internationally at festivals such as MaerzMusik (Berlin), Ultima (Oslo), and the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. He frequently collaborates with various musicians and groups, including such as Apartment House, Quatuor Bozzini, Angharad Davies and, Rhodri Davies, edges, Pedro Gomez-Egaña, Seth Kim-Cohen, Sebastian Lexer, Ross Parfitt, Michael Parsons, Michael Pisaro, Taylan Susam, Philip Thomas, Manfred Werder, John White and Seymour Wright.
He has curated and performed in concerts of music by composers like Antoine Beuger, Cornelius Cardew, Philip Corner, Laurence Crane, Jürg Frey, Michael Pisaro, Tom Johnson, Travis Just, Alvin Lucier, Chris Newman and Christian Wolff. Currently, alongside Tim Parkinson and Markus Trunk, he curates the annual Music We'd Like to Hear concert series.
He taught composition at Goldsmiths, and experimental sound at Chelsea College of Arts, and he has been a researcher at Bath Spa University. He is co-author, with James Saunders, of Word Events: Perspectives on Verbal Notation (Continuum 2012).
Nao Masuda is a Japanese born composer and performer. In 1998, she moved to London where she has worked with a number of bands and collaborative projects. Since 2012 she is part of a London based Taiko drumming group and has toured extensively in the UK, Europe, Turkey and Sri Lanka for the following three years as well as recording an album.
Since her fist performance with AMICI Dance Theatre Company in 2007, her work has mainly revolved in and around theatre with a variety of elements and art forms. Apart from composing and performing theatrical music, her work in theatre so far includes directing, devising, artwork, physical performance, and Taiko drumming and soundscaping workshops.
Nao’s recent work outside theatre includes solo Taiko Performance at Ludwigshaften Festival (Germany), solo and duo Taiko Performances in UK and composing and recording for a documentary film. 
James Welland studied music at King's College, London under Robert Keeley and Silvina Milstein, before completing a Master's degree in Composition at the University of Cambridge under Robin Holloway, being the recipient of the Reinstein Prize.
He has written music for the documentary NanoYou, narrated by Stephen Fry, which went on to win first prize at the Scinema International Festival of Science Film. More recently James has been working on the popular music scene with artists such as Laura Bettinson, Aaron Horn, Ms. D, K Koke and Beaux Saunders.
The Francis Chagrin award will be used by James to fund studio time for spectral analysis, DSP and electronic music production as part of the composition process for a collaborative orchestral commission with Claire Hazelton to be performed by Orchestra Vitae in autumn this year.

Francis Chagrin was the founder of the Society for the Promotion of New Music (SPNM). During his career he composed symphonies, songs, chamber music, and over 200 film scores. His music is collected in Sound and Music’s British Music Collection.

To apply

Applications are currently closed (reopening in September 2014) and consist of a short online application form.


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Sound and Music Administrator, Natalia Franklin Pierce's blog about the Francis Chagrin Award and women composers.