PRS for Music partners with The Riot Ensemble for pandemic commissions

The commissions to be premiered on BBC Radio 3's New Music Show

An image of the six composers
Oliver Brignall, Lola de la Mata, Aidan Teplitzky, Carmen Ho, Zoë Martlew, Joe Bates

As part of a collaboration between PRS for Music, acclaimed new music collective, The Riot Ensemble, and conceptual project, Zeitgeist, six contemporary classical composers will have brand-new solo commissions broadcast across BBC Radio 3’s New Music Show at 10pm on Saturday 15 and Saturday 22 August 2020.

Presented by Kate Molleson and Tom Service, the show airs the best and latest in cutting-edge and experimental new music.

The Riot Ensemble brings together performers, curators, commissioners, collaborators, and some of the top new and experimental classical music soloists in Europe, creating and producing a diverse array of projects.

Originally planned as a collaborative project bringing together six UK composers with The Riot Ensemble to workshop and record new works, plans were transformed when the nation went into lockdown.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, a new commissioning project emerged allowing the partnership to go ahead in a virtual context, encouraging music creation to continue during the pandemic.

Ensemble sessions instead became solo online workshops, with an added focus on individual coaching support. Composers were paired with a musician from The Riot Ensemble to create new solo works, recorded at their homes while navigating the challenges that come with collaborating on a piece of work remotely.

Composer and soloist pairings are: Joe Bates for Marianne Schofield (double bass), Oliver Brignall for Ruth Rosales (bassoon), Lola de la Mata for Ausias Garrigos (bass clarinet), Carmen Ho for Claudia Racovicean (piano), Zoë Martlew for Ruth Rosales (bassoon) and Aidan Teplitzky for Sam Wilson (percussion).

Composers were selected by an expert panel featuring artist and composer, Mira Calix, Artistic Director of The Riot Ensemble, Aaron Holloway-Nahum, composer and ethnomusicologist, Soosan Lolavar, and percussionist and composer, Sam Wilson.  


At a time when the majority of the music profession was put on hold, being given this magical opportunity to write a solo piece for one of the fabulous Riot Ensemble musicians has been a fantastic way for me to keep the creative fires burning. It’s a wonderful reminder that while the outer world turns on its head and we all adapt within, music will always find its way. An enormous thank you to PRS for Music, The Riot Ensemble and bassoonist Ruth Rosales for keeping the flame alive!

Zoë Martlew, composer

It has been a privilege to work with such an innovative group of composers and musicians, and the results are testament to their creativity and resilience. We’re delighted that this collaboration with The Riot Ensemble has brought new music to life during this challenging time.

Harriet Wybor, Classical Relationship Manager, PRS for Music

PRS for Music
, the organisation that represents the rights of more than 145,500 songwriters, composers, and music publishers, nurtures the creation of music through its industry partnerships, development workshops, and educational programmes.

Watch a short film on the composers, soloists and the commissions here:

switching account

Switching your account...