Alumni Chosen for PRS Composers’ Fund

RNCM alumni Laura Bowler and Gavin Higgins are two of nine young composers chosen to receive funding from PRS’ inaugural Composers’ Fund.

Announced on Tuesday 28 June, the ground-breaking new fund was established by PRS to support the UK’s most talented composers to develop their work here and overseas. With additional support from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, it offers £150,000 annually to enable young composers to realise projects and ambitions that may not be possible through traditional commissioning models.


Laura, who graduated in 2008, has been awarded funding to cover the costs for a commission and collaboration with British composer Phil Venables, while 2005 graduate Gavin (pictured above) will use his funding to cover studio costs.

Vanessa Reed, Executive Director for PRS for Music Foundation, said: ‘Congratulations to the nine composers selected from this competitive first round of applications. We’re proud to be supporting these talented and distinctive composers, to take more control of their own destiny. I very much look forward to following their progress and seeing how this support enables them to develop their music and take their career to the next stage.’

RNCM composers are currently enjoying fantastic success both in the UK and internationally, with the 2016 BBC Proms in particular including a strong RNCM presence. Alumna Emily Howard will see her work, Torus (Concerto for Orchestra), performed by the RLPO and Vasily Petrenko at the Royal Albert Hall on 25 August as part of Prom 53; fellow alumna Sally Beamish looks forward to the premiere of Merula perpetu for viola and piano at Cadogan Hall on 29 August for the Proms Chamber Music Series; and alumnus Tom Harrold, (pictured below and recently announced as one the College’s five new Honorary Associate Artists) will open the world-famous Last Night of the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall on 10 September with his five minute composition Raze.

Tom Harrold2

Adam Gorb, Head of Composition, said: ‘It’s fantastic news that two alumni composers have received PRS funding for exciting new projects. This, along with recent composition graduate Tom Harrold being commissioned for the Last Night of the Proms shows that RNCM composers are leading the way in new music.’

29 June 2016