Opus 1 - Britten Sinfonia

Opus 1

This talent development opportunity is intended as a potential ‘first step on the ladder’ for aspiring composers who have not recently been selected for other composition schemes, and from which they will gain workshop experience and a high quality recording of their work. Opus 1 is aimed at composers of any age, background and composing experience. Those composers selected will have a keen interest in composition, may be currently studying or have studied music in the past at some level, and will be looking for a chance to further develop their skills in a supportive environment.

Our eight chosen composers will take part in two workshops with a mixed-instrument quartet, guided by either Dobrinka or Joe and the players. We recognise that every composer has had access to different experiences, and may work at a different pace. Workshop 1 will be an opportunity for you to bring ideas and sketches (or something more fully formed, if you prefer), and by Workshop 2, we would like to see and hear how your ideas are developing into a complete piece.

There will be the opportunity for a 1:1 guidance session with Joe or Dobrinka before you submit your finished score. They will help you identify edits and revisions before the submission date.

You will be invited to write for one of the following instrumentations:

Quartet 1 – Violin, Viola, Clarinet, Bassoon
Quartet 2 – Violin, Cello, Flute, Oboe

and the players will spend a day rehearsing and recording the eight new pieces at the end of the scheme.

We do not want funding to be a barrier to participation, and we recognise that the selected composers will commit time to this development opportunity. Composers who are selected for Opus 1 will be offered a bursary of £300 as a contribution towards core travel costs and associated expenses (Exceptional circumstances will be taken into account and additional financial assistance may be offered at the organisation’s discretion).

Information for applicants

Opus 1 timeline:
19 April – Registration deadline
26 April – Application deadline
7 June – Opus 1 selection announcement
10 or 11 July – Opus 1 first workshop
7 August – Opus 1 second workshop
18 September – Opus 1 recording day

Selection criteria:
To be eligible to apply for Opus 1 you should:
– Be over 18 years old
– Plan to remain resident in the UK for the duration of the programme
– Provide one score and recording/realisation of your work
– Not have been selected for a similar opportunity (see suggested list*) since 1 January 2019, or have been selected for a previous OPUS competition

*If you have been selected for, taken part in, or had access to any of these opportunities, or something similar since 1 January 2019, you are not currently eligible to apply for Opus 1. This is not an exhaustive list, but we would ask that you consider your recent opportunities in relation to our decision to include this as one of the selection criteria (see our FAQs for more information).

Got questions? Check out our FAQ

Information and dates specified on this page are correct at time of publication and are subject to change, where necessary. Activity that cannot take place in person due to COVID-19 guidelines will take place online wherever possible.

How to get involved

The registration and application windows for Opus 1 have now closed for the 2021 scheme.