Workout!

The Workout! scheme is our ambition to play and workshop 100 pieces by 100 composers to celebrate our tenth anniversary.

Workshop sessions are now available and will continue to be released until the end of 2021.

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The Covid-19 pandemic pushed us to redesign our activities. While we’ll be recording remotely in London, we’ll be reaching out worldwide and connecting with more composers and music enthusiasts than ever before. Global communities are what we need now more than ever.

We’ll accept applications in 4 rounds throughout the year. Selected pieces will receive a workshop-style video recording (30-40 minutes), including our comments and suggestions, and a ‘live’ performance recording which composers will be able to use however they like. All this will be available publicly, online, as well as some info about the piece, the composer, some discussion about the music, and the score itself.

Applications are now open for the 4th and final round. The deadline has been extended to 1st December 2021.

Fair Access Principles logo (Sound and Music)The scheme is open to all:

  • Worldwide
  • No application fee, no paywall
  • No age limits (lower or upper)
  • No references needed
  • No formal qualifications needed
  • Nothing to attend in person
  • No language requirement. We speak English, you can speak what you like... Google and others can help us translate.
  • No printer or paper required!
  • We strongly encourage applications by black and minority ethnic composers, those with disabilities, those identifying as women or LGBTQ+, and from other underrepresented or disadvantaged groups.

We are proud to be a partner of Sound And Music's Fair Access Principles.

Requirements

We have to be able to select, play and record your music on a very tight schedule! So there are a few requirements for the sake of practicality:

  1. Each piece should be up to 5 minutes. Complete pieces are preferred, but movements or excerpts of a larger work may be OK. Please indicate which excerpt of longer pieces should be evaluated & performed if chosen.
  2. The music must be notated as a PDF score. No individual parts needed, as we play from iPads with pedals for page turns. We strongly prefer portrait, and A4 works well, but other formats are acceptable. "Traditional notation" not required (see point 3).
  3. We are a string quartet (2 violins, viola, cello)! Extended techniques, improvisation, graphic scores, electronics, scordatura, and even extra instruments may all be fine, but please be practical.
  4. Please give us permission to share the score and our recording publicly online. Your work must be your own, and must not include any material which would infringe the rights of any third parties.

How it works

In the spirit of social distancing, we are going to be working from home (or whichever space we can use at the time), and producing the workshop and recordings ourselves. We will select 25 of our favourite applications from each of four deadlines:

  • 1st September 2020 (Round 1)
  • 1st December 2020 (Round 2)
  • 1st June 2021 (Round 3)
  • Round 4: now extended to 1st December 2021

Our selections will reflect the widest possible range of entries. We can’t ever be objective, but what we’re looking for is musical innovation, curiosity and diversity.

As this is a workshop scheme, the pieces we choose will encourage discussion and learning. We prefer compositions that have been written in the past 10 years, which have not been recorded before (commercially/professionally). If you would like to submit a piece that does not satisfy these criteria, please give us your reason in the application form's "Other information" section (i.e., if your piece has been played by another professional quartet, please tell us what exactly you would like to gain from our workshop).

You're welcome to submit a single work that has multiple composers. Make sure you are allowed to give permission for the work to be shared. Ideally, apply as an individual and give the other composers' information (and any other details) in the form's "Other information" section.

We anticipate that there will be many high-quality submissions and regret that no feedback can be provided to those who have not been selected. Shortlisted composers will be invited to reapply with the same piece in the next application round. All are welcome to reapply with a different piece. Please limit applications to one piece per Round, choosing the work you feel will best suit this scheme.

Supported using public funding by Arts Council England

The vast majority of this project is made possible by Arts Council England’s generous Emergency Response Fund (2020) and National Lottery Project Grants (2021). A special thanks to Dr Liane Curtis (President of the Women's Philharmonic Advocacy & Rebecca Clarke Society) for her kind support.