Submissions are now open for OPUS 2017.

Submission deadline: 5pm, Friday 28 July 2017


Britten Sinfonia has a history of innovation and excellence. Renowned for adventurous programming and a dynamic new approach to performing, over our twenty-five year history we have aimed to expand the horizons of what an orchestra ‘could’ or ‘should’ be and of how people engage with us and our music-making. In 2013, the OPUS composition competition was launched to further this vision with the goal of discovering an exciting new compositional voice.

Now entering its fifth year, former OPUS winners are among the best up-and-coming compositional talents in the UK however, we want to push the boundaries further, widen the parameters, challenge ourselves and our audience and discover new musical terrain and all the creative potential therein.

With this in mind, OPUS2017 presents a new challenge to composers, retaining the core values true to both the competition and Britten Sinfonia as an organisation and evolving the competition and the At Lunch programmes in which the winning commission is couched.

OPUS2017 brings in outstanding pianist-composer-producer extraordinaire Nik Bärtsch from the jazz/funk scene together with an interesting mix of Britten Sinfonia’s musicians to form the ensemble for which the OPUS competition winner will be invited to write. Working with a leading light from a non-classical field introduces a new and exciting edge to OPUS: allowing us to continue the search for a unique, new compositional voice, challenging shortlisted composers to expand their existing musical knowledge, opening the competition to a potential new and alternative range of entrants and audiences alike.

The chosen composer will receive:
– The chance to work closely with Nik Bärtsch and Britten Sinfonia musicians to develop their compositional techniques
– At least three performances of their work (at London’s Wigmore Hall, West Road Concert Hall in Cambridge and Norwich St Andrew’s Hall).
– A commission fee

Those wishing to apply should read the submission brief and FAQs carefully. To apply you should email the following complement of submission materials to [email protected];
– A completed application form
– A score (without your name printed on it) and recording of a pre-existing work for a chamber group (3-10 players)
– A sketch of up to one minute, plus short written proposal or abstract in response to the creative brief (this should also not have your name printed on it)

OPUS2017 application form (excel)

OPUS 2017 application form (pdf)

OPUS2017 project brief (pdf)

Frequently Asked Questions (pdf)


OPUS 2017 timeline

Deadline for OPUS2017 open call for scores – Friday 28 July 2017

3-5 applicants shortlisted – August 2017

Expansion and re-working of ‘sketch’  by shortlisted composers – Aug-Sep 2017

Shortlisted composers pieces workshopped – September 2017, London

Winner selected – September 2017

Composition editing/re-drafting period – Sep-Oct 2017

Deadline for final draft – Monday 30 October 2017

World premiere tour of new work – November 2017