Prize for composition

Awarded with kind agreement from The Michael Tippett Will Trust and The Michael Tippett Musical Foundation.

The Royal Musical Association is proud to launch this year’s prize for composition: the Tippett Medal. Known internationally as one of the most significant composers of the last century, Michael Tippett embodied principles that the RMA similarly exemplifies: he was a passionate believer in social equality and musical education.  In naming the award for composition after Tippett, we wish to reinforce our commitment to music education, the vital importance of live performance, and contemporary composition of all different kinds.

Making a submission

The governance and administration arrangements for the prize are overseen by the Association’s Awards Committee. A prize jury will be convened, chaired by a Council member of the RMA who is a composer or experienced in contemporary music in some other capacity. In addition, two external members will be appointed to comprise the jury each year.

Entries are now open for the 2022 prize, for works which have received a premiere public performance at any time during the calendar year 2022 (see below for interpretations of the term ‘public performance’).

The deadline for submission for the 2022 prize is Friday 25th August 2023.

Please note that applications received after the deadline will not be submitted to the jury.

This year, the call actively encourages emerging and mid-career composers to enter but composers of all career stages are welcome to enter. This year we invite submissions that make use of electronics in the broadest sense which could include:

  • instruments and electronics (live electronics or fixed tape components)
  • electronic or sound-based compositions
  • acoustic instrument compositions derived from technological procedures.
  • acoustic instrument compositions that make use of technological forces/devices

Process and Eligibility Criteria

  • Entry is open to composers of any nationality. Collaborative work will be considered equally alongside single name submissions.
  • There is no charge for entry.
  • Only one entry per composer will be considered (updated 1 July).
  • The award welcomes submissions of original compositions that include electronic or technological forces (see above). This includes works for instruments and electronics, electronic/sound-based composition or instrumental works derived from technological procedures.
  • The submission must have had a public performance (or equivalent dissemination appropriate to the medium) in the UK within the calendar year before the award is to be made (for the award in 2023, the performance must have taken place in 2022).
  • Media documentation of the complete work must be made available to the jury via a download link, alongside other materials (full score or other accompanying documentation, as appropriate).
  • Media documentation may take a variety of flexible forms, for example, an audio/visual recording of an online stream; a webspace; or other appropriate form appropriate to the nature of the work. This must be available as a download link (public or private) which applicants will provide alongside their submission. Sibelius/Finale recordings (or other music processing software) of instrumental music will not normally be accepted.
  • It is the responsibility of all entrants to provide anonymized recordings and copies of their work for distribution to the panel. The Chair of Awards Committee (or nominated representative) is the only person who will know the composers’ identities, and these will not be disclosed.
  • Submitted compositions must not exceed 20 minutes in duration.

Checklist for submission

Details of:

  • Name of composition/work
  • Composer name/s
  • Email address for correspondence
  • Details of the premiere performance (e.g. date/time, venue/platform):

Download links for:

  •  Recording of work (link to on-line stream/webspace)
  •  Score or equivalent (if applicable)
  •  Other documentation of work (if applicable)

Submit all materials via our online portal.

The Prize

  • The winning composition will be awarded the Tippett Medal presented formally at an RMA conference/event in 2024.
  • We are exploring showcasing and performance opportunities for the winning entry which could include using the RMA website, events, and opportunities with partners such as the Spitalfields Festival.

Jury members

  • Manuella Blackburn – Chair of jury (Composer and RMA Council Member)
  • Steven Berryman (Composer and RMA Council Member)
  • Nuria Bonet (Composer and RMA Council Member)
  • Sarah Gee (Chief Executive, Spitalfields Festival)
  • Diana Salazar, Royal College of Music (Jury member)
  • Gabriel Prokofiev (Composer, producer and DJ)

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