Composers announced for Wild Plum Songbook

PRS for Music partners with Wild Plum Arts and Cheltenham Music Festival to offer women composers a career development and commissioning opportunity

Six square head-and-shoulder photos of the female composers chosen

Six composers from across the UK and a range of specialisms have been selected to take part in Wild Plum Songbook, an innovative new career development initiative.

Leading performing rights society PRS for Music has partnered with Wild Plum Arts and Cheltenham Music Festival for the scheme, which will see composers receive feedback from renowned composers Joanna Lee and Errollyn Wallen. Professional development and practical workshops over the course of two days will see their works for mezzo-soprano and piano performed and recorded by Rachael Lloyd and Lana Bode.  

Wild Plum Arts and Cheltenham Music Festival will commission one of the works from the workshops to be premiered during Cheltenham Music Festival’s Composium – a new one-day industry-wide event for composers, publishers, music industry leaders and influencers. The chosen work will also be included in the Wild Plum Songbook, a growing portfolio of newly-commissioned works.

The composers, revealed below, were selected by a panel comprising Joanna Lee, Errollyn Wallen, Lucy Schaufer, Christopher Gillett (Wild Plum Arts) and Alison Balsom (Cheltenham Music Festival). 

PRS for Music, the organisation that represents the rights of more than 135,000 songwriters, composers, producers and music publishers, also nurtures the creation of music through its partnerships, songwriting camps and educational programmes.

Six composers from across the UK and a range of specialisms have been selected to take part in Wild Plum Songbook, an innovative new career development initiative.

Leading performing rights society PRS for Music has partnered with Wild Plum Arts and Cheltenham Music Festival for the scheme, which will see composers receive feedback from renowned composers Joanna Lee and Errollyn Wallen. Professional development and practical workshops over the course of two days will see their works for mezzo-soprano and piano performed and recorded by Rachael Lloyd and Lana Bode.  

Wild Plum Arts and Cheltenham Music Festival will commission one of the works from the workshops to be premiered during Cheltenham Music Festival’s Composium – a new one-day industry-wide event for composers, publishers, music industry leaders and influencers. The chosen work will also be included in the Wild Plum Songbook, a growing portfolio of newly-commissioned works.

The composers, revealed below, were selected by a panel comprising Joanna Lee, Errollyn Wallen, Lucy Schaufer, Christopher Gillett (Wild Plum Arts) and Alison Balsom (Cheltenham Music Festival). 

PRS for Music, the organisation that represents the rights of more than 135,000 songwriters, composers, producers and music publishers, also nurtures the creation of music through its partnerships, songwriting camps and educational programmes.

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I am delighted to welcome these composers to the Wild Plum Songbook initiative and look forward to hearing the results of their workshops. We recognise the importance of career development in the classical sector, and it’s great to continue our support for composers through this partnership with Wild Plum Arts and Cheltenham Music Festival.

Harriet Wybor, Classical Account Manager, PRS for Music
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Wild Plum Arts dedicates 2019 to All About the Women, and this mentorship initiative for The Wild Plum Songbook presents an ideal opportunity for us to support women composers in the beginning of their careers as well as those already confident in their artistic identity. We are grateful to our partners PRS for Music and the Cheltenham Music Festival and we look forward to working with these six incredibly talented women.

Lucy Schaufer, Artistic Director, Wild Plum Arts
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Cheltenham Music Festival has for 75 years been synonymous with world-leading composition and we want our new Composium to become an essential event in the calendar for the classical music industry. At its heart will be the chance to hear brand new work and we are incredibly excited that one of these composer's new works will come to fruition at the Composium in July, thanks to our joint commission with Wild Plum Arts.

Alison Balsom, Artistic Director, Cheltenham Music Festival

The selected composers are:

  • Ella Jarman-Pinto, a Cumbria-based composer whose recent commissions include a short film with Maker Projects that won a Bronze award at Cannes Lion for Cinematography in 2018. Ella was Composer in Residence with Streetwise Opera from 2016-17 and has received repeat performances and broadcasts by the BBC Singers on BBC Radio 3.
  • Janet Oates, a composer, teacher, performer and conductor in a range of musical styles and genres. Janet is also Artistic Director of the new vocal ensemble Philomel, specialising in 17th century works and new commissions, with a focus on female composers. Last year, a Borough New Music concert was dedicated to her works.
  • Kate Marlais, currently the Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer at Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith. She has been nominated for a Best Composer Stage Debut Award for her work on Abandon. Last year, Kate set up Modulate, an initiative for female composers for stage, supporting the move towards 50:50 gender balance in the industry.
  • Lisa Robertson, a Scottish composer whose awards include joint-winner of the West Cork Chamber Music Festival Composers’ Competition and runner-up in the Cappella Nova Composers’ Competition and the Walter and Dinah Wolfe Competition. Lisa is an Associate Member of the London Symphony Orchestra Soundhub and is undertaking a PhD at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
  • Rose Miranda Hall, an award-winning composer whose work focuses on telling narratives that challenge common preconceptions through opera and contemporary music theatre. Her work has been performed across the UK, Germany, Hong Kong and Canada; current projects include opera ‘Dead Equal’ which will headline Army@TheFringe 2019, and participatory community chamber opera ‘The Jewel Merchants’.
  • Sarah Lianne Lewis, who has worked with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Quatuor Bozzini, UPROAR, and Ligeti Quartet, and is currently working with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Berkeley Ensemble. Her music explores semi-improvisatory techniques, Japanese poetry and patterns in nature, and has been performed and broadcast in Europe, Canada and Australia.

About PRS for Music

PRS for Music represents the rights of songwriters, composers and music publishers in the UK and around the world. As a membership organisation it works to ensure that creators are paid whenever their musical compositions and songs are streamed, downloaded, broadcast, performed and played in public. With over 100 representation agreements in place globally, PRS for Music's network represents over two million music creators worldwide. In 2018, 11.2 trillion performances of music were reported to PRS for Music with £746m collected on behalf of its members, making it one of the world’s leading music collective management organisations. 

PRS for Music’s
public performance licensing is now carried out on PRS for Music’s behalf by PPL PRS Ltd, the new joint venture between PPL and PRS for Music

About Wild Plum Arts

Wild Plum Arts exists to create new music. We commission, curate, perform, and collaborate with other organisations to support and advocate for living composers.  

About Cheltenham Music Festival

Established in 1945, Cheltenham Music Festival boasts an outstanding reputation for high calibre performances, inventive programming and a growing schools and family strand. It takes place in a range of first-class venues in the beautiful Regency town of Cheltenham and across the Cotswolds in cathedrals, abbeys, country houses and churches.

Cheltenham Music Festival is part of Cheltenham Festivals – a charity which brings the arts and sciences to audiences, supports emerging talent, and delivers a pioneering year-round educational programme, culminating at the town’s internationally-acclaimed Jazz, Science, Music and Literature Festivals.

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