The late Andrzej Panufnik, 1914-91, with his wife (their daughter is the composer Roxanna)

The London Symphony Orchestra [LSO] has announced today the six composers who will participate in its annual Panufnik Composers Scheme in 2022, part of the Orchestra’s all-year round development programme for early career composers.

The composers for 2022 are Lara Agar, Rafael Marino Arcaro, Robert Crehan, Litha Efthymiou, Robin Haigh, and Edwin Hillier.

Kathryn MacDowell, Managing Director of the LSO said, “This year has seen an unprecedented number of applications for the Panufnik Composers Scheme, with more than 250 composers submitting work of the highest quality and range of musical styles. A panel of seven adjudicators had the difficult task of whittling it down to these final six exceptionally gifted composers. The LSO looks forward to working with them over the next year and sharing the development of their artistry and careers well into the future.”

The Scheme is guided by renowned composers Colin Matthews, with support from Christian Mason and Errollyn Wallen, who joins in 2022/23 for the first time. Together with additional tailored support, the scheme enables composers to experiment with orchestral writing skills through developing a three-minute composition over fourteen months. Collaborative relationships are developed with LSO players and the resulting compositions are performed and discussed by the LSO and its Principal Guest Conductor, François-Xavier Roth, in a public workshop rehearsal at the culmination of the scheme. Following this, two of the composers will receive a commission from the LSO which will be premiered during the Orchestra’s London season of concerts at the Barbican.

Alongside the Panufnik Composers Scheme, which launched in 2005, the LSO runs LSO Soundhub and LSO Jerwood Composer+. All together, these programmes provide mentoring and support not only in artistic and musical development, but also in the crucial practical skills required by composers as their careers progress. The programmes are developed in consultation with composers and musicians to ensure that their needs continue to be met in a changing and challenging landscape.

The LSO’s work with composers over many years can be seen right at the heart of the new music scene in Britain today. The LSO’s deep commitment to today’s composers is reflected in there being a tradition of a new work by a British composer in every opening concert programme of the LSO Barbican Season conducted by LSO Music Director Sir Simon Rattle.

The public workshop for the 2022 intake of Panufnik Composers with the LSO and François-Xavier Roth will take place at LSO St Luke’s, home of the Orchestra’s music education and community programme on London’s Old Street on Tuesday 30 May 2023.

The LSO Panufnik Composers Scheme is generously supported by Lady Hamlyn and The Helen Hamlyn Trust.