Cheltenham Composer Academy

Due to the cancellation of Cheltenham Music Festival 2020, this year’s Composer Academy will sadly no longer take place. We look forward to receiving your applications for Composer Academy 2021. Keep an eye on the website and our social media channels for an update on when next year’s applications will go live.

What is the Composer Academy?

Composer Academy forms part of Cheltenham Festivals Spotlight Talent Development Programme. Spotlight aims to support artists at all stages of their careers to take the next step. Composer Academy specifically supports early-career composers (aged 18+ years) who are looking to gain professional advice and mentoring to further their career. The programme is stimulating, wide-ranging and has proved highly influential in its first seven years. During the programme the eight participants have their compositions work-shopped, performed and recorded; attend a range of premiere performances at the Cheltenham Music Festival, and have access to industry professionals in a series of panel talks that discuss craft and contemporary aesthetics along with career development.

What will I gain from taking part in the Academy?

As well as intensive tuition and development of your composition in workshops culminating in a high-quality performance and recording of your new work, you will enjoy contact with specialists in the performance of new music, world-renowned composers, and those working in the industry. Above all, the Composer Academy offers a chance to discuss ideas, issues and questions with like-minded peers.

Cheltenham Composer Academy was a fantastic opportunity for me that I’m really thankful for and would recommend to anybody.

Robin Haigh, Composer Academy Alumni & BASCA Award Winner 2017

The Cheltenham Music Festival Composer Academy allowed me to work more closely with expert instrumentalists than I ever have had the opportunity before. It was an excellent learning and professional development experience.

Sarah Rimkus, Composer Academy Alumni & 2018 Music Festival Commission

The immersive nature of Composer Academy was fantastic – working and socialising with such good musicians and composers over the course of the week was, aside from being great fun, fabulously developmental to my practice. The extra sessions (alongside the core activity of composition workshops) were an unexpected bonus too.

Arthur Keegan-Boyle, Composer Academy Alumni & Future Blend Project Winner 2017

Please contact our Music Festival team with any questions at