The Tippett Medal

silhouette of music notes on an abstract background

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 2023 prize, for works which have received a premiere public performance at any time during the calendar year 2023 (see below for interpretations of the term ‘public performance’).

The deadline for submission for the 2023 prize is Friday 23th August 2024.

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

This year, the call actively encourages submissions from emerging composers from a diverse range of musical practices. We welcome submissions from composers and creators who are in the process of forging a career in the field of composition and those yet to be published.

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.
  • The award welcomes submissions of original compositions from a broad range of practices, including (but not limited to) acoustic instruments, voices, electronics (including fixed media/acousmatic works), inter/transdisciplinary work and/or any combination thereof. Works involving video or multi-media are also welcomed.
  • 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 made in 2024, the performance must have taken place in 2023).
  • Some media documentation of the complete work in performance must be submitted 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

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

The Prize

  • The winning composition will be awarded the Tippett Medal presented formally at an RMA conference/event in 2025.
  • 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.