Emerging Composer Scheme

The CMC Emerging Composer scheme provides training, mentorship and professional development opportunities to emerging/early-career composers born or based on the island of Ireland. Designed by CMC with the composer, the programme is bespoke, considering the individual artistic interests and developing practice of the composer. Composers may apply for the programme at any time, with the review process taking place every two years.

Please note, the next application review is for the 2026 intake, following the completion of the programme by the current group of CMC Emerging Composers who were selected in 2024.

The deadline for applications for the 2026 intake will be announced in Autumn 2025.

Available CMC supports which may be of interest to those considering a future application to the Emerging Composer programme include: the CMC Library, the CMC Creative Space and CMC Opportunities. Follow CMC on social media (@cmcireland) or sign up to the CMC Newsletter for regular composer professional development opportunities open to all composers born / based in Ireland, including artists at all stages of their careers.


CMC Emerging Composers will receive mentoring and professional development opportunities in an individualised programme created in conjunction with the Contemporary Music Centre over a period of time.


The Contemporary Music Centre, Ireland offers various categories of representation to any eligible composer/music maker working in the area of contemporary art music (see scope below) at a professional level, where music forms the primary focus of their practice, and who was born or has been permanently domiciled on the island of Ireland for three years or longer consecutively. Composers already represented by CMC are not eligible for this scheme.


The Contemporary Music Centre supports a very wide range of composition:

  • Notated composition
  • Electroacoustic music
  • Electronics
  • Sound art & Radio Art
  • Experimental
  • Installation sound
  • Multimedia, web and film music
  • Educational music

Please note that CMC at present cannot support popular and rock music, especially of commercial importance, and folk and traditional music.

Application Process

Composers are selected by an independent panel every two years. Applications can be made at any time, however the next review process will be for applications for the 2026 intake. The deadline for applications for the next review will be announced in Autumn 2025

To be considered for the Emerging Composers scheme, composers must meet the eligibility requirements set out below and use the application form supplied here.  

Applicants must demonstrate a proven commitment to composition as a major focus and are able to establish that they have produced a minimum of four works (of at least 5 minutes duration) which meet the following criteria.

To satisfy the criteria, evidence must be provided that each work meets one of the following conditions:

i. has received a public performance or broadcast by a professional or amateur ensemble, broadcaster, soloist or curator who is independent of the applicant, or an installation in a venue open to the public;

  • At least two works submitted should have received performances by a professional ensemble/soloist (i.e. if all four works have received performances by amateur artists, you may only use two of these as evidence for your application).
  • It is permitted to submit four works which have been performed by the same professional ensemble/soloist.
  • ‘Professional’ is interpreted as indicating that the performing artists were paid an appropriate professional fee. This is assessed at the discretion of the selection panel.

ii. has been commissioned (financially) by a commissioning body which is independent of the applicant; 

  • the same commissioning body may only be used as evidence for one of the four works (i.e. if you have received three commissions from the same individual or organisation, you may use only one as evidence to support your application) 

iii. has been produced as the result of the receipt of a competitive and open financial grant; 

iv. has been released on a commercial recording, or as sheet music, or as a new media publication, by an established publisher which is independent of the applicant; 

  • the same recording may only be used as evidence for two of the four works in your application

  • artists who rely exclusively on self-publishing should firstly attempt to meet the eligibility criteria using alternative conditions; should your work not satisfy other criteria, please contact the Contemporary Music Centre to discuss your application

v. has been the winner of an established and open competition, prize or award;

  • in selected prestigious awards, achieving a highly commended, finalist status or other place may be considered as meeting this eligibility criterion

Interested artists must complete a formal application form and supply the supporting documents outlined in the check-list, which will be subject to review and approval by the CMC during periodic assessment rounds.