Submissions for the first round of the inaugural ROSL Composition Award have now closed.

Further detailed award information

  1. Applicants may enter a chamber work or sketch (up to 6 players of any instrument) for consideration by the first-round panel. This work does not need to be composed specifically for this award but must clearly demonstrate your technique, personal style and musical voice. The work may be of any length. The work must have been completed no earlier than 1st Jan 2019.

  2. The first-round panel will meet soon after the 29th May deadline to select six composers to progress to the workshop stage. Results will be sent out as soon as possible after this and by the end of June 2020.

  3. Each selected composer will be invited to compose a 1-2 minute work or sketch for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano (no prepared piano),vibraphone (with selected hand percussion) and conductor. A £200 honorarium will be paid to each composer on completion of this.

  4. These pieces must be completed by Monday 5th October with scores and parts ready to supply to London Sinfonietta.

  5. The workshop day will take place on Monday 9th November 2020 2-6pm at the Royal Over-Seas League. Each composer will have 35 minutes to workshop their piece with the London Sinfonietta. This workshop will be open to the general public and the composer will receive a recording and video of their piece for their personal archive only. All composers must be available on this day (either in person or online).

  6. The jury will be in attendance at this day and following the workshops will select one composer as the winner of the ROSL Composition Award 2020.

  7. The award winner will receive a £3,000 commission prize to compose a 12-15 chamber work for the same instrumentation as the workshop day. We expect the final commissioned piece to be an expansion of the workshop piece. The first part of the award will be paid after the announcement of the result and the second part on completion of the work. The score and parts must be received by Tuesday 4th May 2021. The final score must credit the Royal Over-Seas League as commissioner.

  8. If the winner of the ROSL Composition Award 2020 lives outside of the UK, a return economy flight, 5 days accommodation at ROSL and per diems will be offered in the days around the premiere of the work (7th July 2021). For winners who live in the UK but outside of London, travel, accommodation if needed and per diems will be offered in this period.


Competition Rules

The ROSL Artistic Director's decision to accept or refuse any entry is final. The decision of the Adjudicating Panel is final and no correspondence will be entered into. The Adjudicators reserve the right to withhold any prize should the required standard not be attained.

Candidates must have relevant nationality at the time of entering the competition.

Once a competitor has won a prize in the ROSL Composition Award, they are not eligible for that prize in any subsequent year.

We will not communicate through third parties - each candidate must have their own direct email address and contact details.

The submitted pieces must be entirely the work of the composer. The six shortlisted composers for the workshop round must compose music especially for this award, as must the winner for the commission.

The six workshop pieces and the final commissioned work must not be presented in a public forum before either the workshop day or the premiere concert at Southbank Centre.

Each entrant must supply the names and contact details of two referees who know the composers well and can vouch for them. Full written references are not required.

Scores for the first-round jury must be uploaded along with completed application details via the ROSL website. The scores must be in PDF format and easily printable onto A4 paper for the panel.

Sound files may be included if desired.


Royal Over-Seas League and ROSL ARTS


For over 65 years ROSL ARTS has developed a diverse portfolio of activities in music, visual arts, and literature. ROSL ARTS is devoted to the career development of talented young professional artists and musicians from the UK and the Commonwealth, and also presents readings and literary events at its central London headquarters.

The principal ways in which ROSL ARTS supports artists and musicians is through the ROSL Annual Music Competition, ROSL Commonwealth Music Scholarships, and ROSL Commonwealth Visual Arts Scholarships. ROSL ARTS also provides performance and exhibition opportunities for its prizewinning artists and musicians early in their careers, and thus brings their work to the attention of the professional arts community, the media, and the general public.

Royal Over-Seas League

The Royal Over-Seas League is dedicated to championing international friendship and understanding throughout the Commonwealth and beyond. A non-for-profit private members’ club, we’ve been bringing like-minded people together since our launch in 1910.

ROSL is a self-funded organisation which operates under a Royal Charter and ‘aims at promoting an enduring multi-racial fellowship pledged to the support of the Commonwealth and to the service of others and humanity at large.’  For more information about becoming a member visit or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

London Sinfonietta

The London Sinfonietta is one of the world’s leading contemporary music ensembles. Formed in 1968, our commitment to making new music has seen us commission over 400 works and premiere many hundreds more.

Our ethos today is to constantly experiment with the art form, working with the best composers and per-formers and collaborating with artists from alternative genres and disciplines. We are committed to challenging perceptions, provoking new possibilities and stretching our audiences’ imaginations, often working closely with them as creators, performers and curators of the events we stage.

Resident at Southbank Centre and Artistic Associate at Kings Place, with a busy touring schedule across the UK and abroad, the London Sinfonietta’s core 18 Principal Players, are some of the finest musicians in the world. As well as our commitment to reaching new audiences with world-class performances of new music, and developing the talent of composers and musicians, the organisation holds a leading position in education work.  We believe that arts participation is transformational to individuals and communities and that new music is relevant to all our lives.

These values are enacted through primary and secondary school concerts across the UK, interactive family events, and the annual London Sinfonietta Academy; an unparalleled opportunity for young performers and conductors to train with our Principal Players. The London Sinfonietta has also broken new ground by launching its own new digital Channel, featuring video programmes and podcasts about new music. We also created Steve Reich’s Clapping Music App for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, a participatory rhythm game that has been downloaded over 400,000 times worldwide.  Recent recordings include George Benjamin’s opera Into the Little Hill (Nimbus; 2017), Benet Casablancas’ The Art of Ensemble (Sony Classical; 2018), David Lang’s Writing on Water (Cantaloupe Music; 2018) and Philip Venables’ de-but album Below the Belt (NMC; 2018) and Marius Neset’s Viaduct (ACT; 2019).

The ROSL Composition Award 2020 is supported by:

ROSL Trust
Mr Donald Best
Margaret Engering Trust