The Francis Chagrin Award is for composers looking for a quick financial top-up to help get them to the next stage in creating a new work. By new work, we mean the costs associated with composing a new piece of music. Our support includes, but is not limited to: copying or preparing scores, paying for microphones, speakers, tape recorders, translation costs, studio hire, album engineering and more. All it takes is a simple application process which could lead to being awarded on average £100 for costs associated with composing.

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.

COVID-19 Composer Awards

In April 2020 we repurposed the Francis Chagrin Award and turned it into the COVID-19 Composer Awards, to best support composers with the immediate challenges arising from COVID-19. Through this, we hope to ensure more composers can continue their vital creative work.

Shamica Ruddock, Francis Chagrin winner

How does it work?

The average award size to date is £100, and the maximum amount of financial support applicants can request is £500 (awarded in exceptional circumstances). The budget for this award across the year is £2,000 in total.

We have a short application process and decisions are made within 4-6 weeks after the deadline. Decisions are made by an internal panel consisting of Sound and Music staff who will review applications.

Examples of costs for which the Award may be used:

  • Materials for score-based work (including, but not limited to, copying and preparing of parts, binding, and postage costs)
  • Studio time integral to the creation of a specified new work.
  • Purchase of materials integral to the creation of a specified new work
  • Technical equipment integral to the creation of a specified new work
  • Fees of those involved in the creative process (excluding applicants/composers)

"Since 2013, Sound and Music’s Francis Chagrin Award has supported a diverse range of composers and artists, working in an extraordinary variety of practices, to create new work. If you need a financial injection to push your project forward, I would strongly encourage you to consider making an application.”
Will Dutta
Co-Head of Artist Development

How do I apply?

The Francis Chagrin Award has been temporarily been replaced by the COVID-19 Composer Awards.

The information below applied to the last round of the Francis Chagrin Award and are here for reference.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Open to composers and sound artists
  • Based in the UK or a British Citizen
  • Not currently in full-time education
  • Have not received the Francis Chagrin Award in the previous financial year (April-March)

Selection Criteria

  • clear evidence of how the funding will meet the costs of making a particular new work
  • the impact this support would have on your professional development
  • value for money (maximising benefit to composers from these awards)
  • a breadth of types of work and geographical locations will be taken into consideration

You can read our Application Guidelines (pdf) for the most recent round of applications.

Previous Award Winners

While the Francis Chagrin Award is small in size, we are able to reach a large number of composers.

Meet the Francis Chagrin Award winners
Meet the COVID-19 Composer Award winners

See also

Photograph from a performance, in a dusty ound hall dancers pull sheets of fabric in a circle

This annual award is given to a UK-based composer for an outstanding new work created through one of our artist development programmes.

Read more about our George Butterworth Award and meet the recipients

A white man with dark hair and a white shirt is making notes on a score while a white woman with glasses makes corrections

All applicants to our New Voices programme who have been shortlisted and interviewed are awarded a targeted package of support, including coaching sessions and a small grant.

Find out more about our Seed Award

Shamima Ruddock, a Francis Chagrin Award winner

Sound and Music run a range of artist development programmes, including New Voices, Adopt a Music Creator, and Composer-Curator.

Explore our programmes and how to apply