Development Opportunity for Scotland-based emerging composers - Any Enemy

Aberdeen’s new music ensemble Any Enemy and sound are pleased to announce that we will be offering a development opportunity for emerging composers based either in the North East or further afield in Scotland. The opportunity will involve working with Any Enemy to develop a new work for performance at the Cowdray Hall during this year’s soundfestival.

Any Enemy (established in 2018) is a contemporary music ensemble formed of local musicians in North East Scotland. The ensemble meets regularly with conductor Pete Stollery to rehearse a wide range of new music for flexible instrumentation, and has commissioned a number of new works. For the past 4 years it has offered development opportunities to composers across Scotland and beyond.
sound is a new music incubator based in North East Scotland, initially set up to give local audiences access to new music. It is now renowned in and beyond Scotland for producing and promoting high-quality work, for its support to composers of all generations, and for attracting new audiences through its varied programming and inclusive nature.

sound aims to increase access to new music, encourage excellence and experimentation, and nurture talent. It achieves this through a variety of activities including an annual festival, a year-round composer support programme, and learning and engagement activities.

Opportunity description
Three composers will have the opportunity to develop short works for Any Enemy with support from the ensemble. The new works will be performed by Any Enemy during the 2023 soundfestival.

Instrumentation: violin, viola, cello, flute, oboe, bassoon, trumpet, piano, and percussion

Composition length: approx. 5 mins

The deadline for applications is Sunday the 2nd of July 2023 at midnight.

Draft schedule:

·  Session 1: Introduction to Any Enemy – Wed 9th August 2023, 7-8pm

Where: Zoom
This first session will primarily allow you to meet with Any Enemy, listen to examples of previous performances and get some advice on writing for the ensemble.

·  Session 2: Workshop – Sun 3rd September, afternoon (time tbc)
Where: Aberdeen
Any Enemy will workshop the first drafts of the three new pieces (copies of which will have been delivered by late August) with the composers present. Composers will then have 3 weeks to make any final adjustments before submitting their final pieces for rehearsal.

·  Final score deadline: approx. a week before the rehearsal of finalised pieces which will take place on Sun 24th September

·  Performance: Sun 29th October at 1pm
Where: Cowdray Hall, Aberdeen (tbc)

The successful candidates will be emerging composers who currently live in Scotland. They should be able to demonstrate a number of years of compositional experience, and be able to articulate their development needs and how the opportunity would benefit them.

Please note that we are committed to working with and supporting composers from under-represented groups. Female, trans, gender-diverse and ethnic minority composers as well as composers with a disability are encouraged to apply. We would also be pleased to hear from composers living in North East Scotland.

Financial support for the opportunity is currently limited to related expenses for travel/accommodation however there may be a small stipend for composers, funding dependant.

How to apply:
To apply for the opportunity please complete this Google form:

If further information is required, please contact Clara-Jane Maunder on

Deadline for applications: Sunday 2nd July 2023 at midnight
We are offering a 2-day “grace period” until midnight on Tuesday 4th July for applicants who can’t reach the deadline due to health challenges, having to care for family members, or other reasonable and/or unexpected circumstances. Please state your reason in the application form.

We will inform you whether you are successful or not by the 17th of July 2023.

Selection process:
As mentioned above we are committed to working with and supporting composers from under-represented sections of the population. To enable this, there is a two-stage application process: an initial selection is made, and then this is narrowed down in a second stage selection process. If you are a female or gender-minority composer, disabled, from an ethnic minority and/or from a low-income background, you can choose to self-select to be put forward automatically to the second round. The selection panel will be made up of a representative(s) of Any Enemy, and a representative(s) of sound.

Notes to composers applying
Selection for new music opportunities is inherently subjective and the criteria used can differ from project to project. We are frequently over-subscribed and often the quality of applications is extremely high from a wide range of composers, which usually means making difficult decisions.

Reasons for selecting one composer over another are not always to do with skill level or experience. We may, for example, be looking for the right fit for us as an organisation at a particular point in time e.g. we may be looking to develop specific strands or activity or genres of music.

For development opportunities that happen in a group setting, it may be that we need to take into consideration the coherence of that group e.g., we may prefer to have composers of a similar experience-level. We thus sometimes end up turning down composers with more experience or skills, or giving opportunities to composers who we feel would benefit most from a particular opportunity at that stage in their career, and faced with difficult choices we may sometimes turn down composers who have already benefitted from a number of opportunities in the past.

We would however encourage composers to apply for any opportunities that interest them and for which they fit the specification, and not be discouraged if they are not selected for a particular opportunity, as it does not mean that they are not “good” enough. Please do continue to apply for any opportunity that interests you!

This opportunity is part of the 2023-2024 soundcreators programme,
which focuses on nurturing creative talent.

soundcreators is currently funded by Creative Scotland, PRS for Music Foundation, Aberdeen City Council, Fenton Arts Trust, Hugh Fraser Foundation, and the William Syson Foundation.