Britten Pears Young Artist Programme

In the 2021/2022 season, we will re-imagine what it means to be a Britten Pears Young Artist.

The coronavirus pandemic has made all of us stop and think – and to re-evaluate our lives and careers. This is especially true for musicians, and young artists have been particularly affected, and we want to play our role in supporting young artists as we come out of this challenging period.

We are now recruiting a cohort of Britten Pears Young Artists, who will benefit from a comprehensive and world-class artist development offer at Snape Maltings over a period of 12 months. We are looking for a diverse group of approximately 20 musicians comprising singers, pianists, chamber ensembles and composers / producers / songwriters to join our family of artists. The Young Artists will participate in projects and events that have been carefully curated by Britten Pears Arts across the year, but that, importantly, leave space for us to react to each Young Artists’ needs and individuality. This enables us to build a bespoke year-round programme which is integrated into our performance programme and our family of artists.

What to Expect?

In your specific area, you will receive masterclasses, coaching and mentoring from internationally renowned artists, you will spend time focussing on your repertoire, your projects, and we will find performance and/or commissioning opportunities. Alongside this, you will benefit from industry-relevant offers, either sourced by us, or which will emerge as your projects evolve during the year.  We want you to shape your time with us, to take responsibility for your needs and help us to support you in a way that is right for you.

Amongst others, tutors will include James Baillieu, Claire Booth, Sarah Connolly, Julius Drake, Julia Faulkner, Gerald Finley, Veronique Gens, Larry Goves, Malcolm Martineau, Colin Matthews, Antonio Pappano, Barry Shiffmann, Alasdair Tait, Anna Tillbrook, Isabelle van Keulen, Roger Vignoles, Roderick Williams.

In this new model of working, we want to provide the freedom, time & space to explore the big questions about what it means to be a musician: to examine your role, your voice, your mission in this industry – and how you can shape it, while also laying the foundations for a successful and sustainable career.

Almost all activity will take place at Snape Maltings and The Red House, with some elements hosted online when this is appropriate or where it is the only way to arrange a session (for example with an overseas coach).

The year will begin with a kick-off workshop between 16-20 July 2021 and it is important for all Young Artists to come together for this. After this, activity will take place at Snape roughly once per month for a number of days each time. However, we understand the need for flexibility at this stage of your career. We will create a schedule for each artist at the start of the year and can react to changing circumstances along the way. There will also be the option for additional residency time, which we will work out on a case-by-case basis.

Your time as a Britten Pears Young Artist will culminate in performances in the 2022 Aldeburgh Festival. We want you to curate these performances yourselves with support from Britten Pears Arts CEO Roger Wright and other staff and artists.

Artist Development lies at the heart of all we do, and we want to ensure that – alongside working in your own field – we enable you to connect with other strands and departments of work if you wish to do so, for example our community team, our arts & health work, experimental Residencies, and under-18s in Aldeburgh Young Musicians.  We’d love you to become ambassadors for the organisation and to be part of our wider public engagement programme. Naturally, you’d be able to connect with The Red House in Aldeburgh for research & the archive.

Throughout your time as a Britten Pears Young Artist, you will develop a powerful network of peers, artists, and organisations that have your back. We hope that you will end the year having been stretched, challenged and supported, and ready to face the world.

We do not charge course fees and will cover travel expenses and accommodation costs.

Singers & Pianists

The focus of the programme will be on vocal & piano music – i.e. much emphasis will be put on art song, but we’re very open to singers who consider themselves opera singers, and pianists whose interests extend to the work of a repetiteur and chamber musician.

Please note that one of the pianists on the scheme will be awarded the Viola Tunnard bursary, which consists of extra coaching, mentoring or project support for a collaborative pianist awarded through the Viola Tunnard Trust. You will automatically be considered for this if you apply to the Britten Pears Young Artists Programme and don’t need to apply especially.

Instrumental Chamber Ensembles

To be considered we would like you to have had at least two years of playing together as an ensemble, and a clear wish to build a substantial part of your career on this. We are interested in traditional ensemble forms such as string quartets but are also excited by the idea of a non-traditional combination of instruments & ideas. We will accept applications of ensembles of up to six members.


Composers / Producers / Songwriters

We are interested in a wide spectrum of composers: you might want to make a song cycle to perform yourself or with one of the BPYAP vocalists, a performance art show at the pumphouse, a traditional chamber music composition, or a produced album of music blending instruments, voices, and electronic sounds. The BPYAP programme is interested in creative artists that bring new sounds to us, as well as those that engage with our already diverse programme of original music making – the only stipulation is that you’re ready to collaborate with and make new work for the performers on the course. We will commission you for the 2022 Aldeburgh Festival.

Who are we looking to support?

We’re reluctant to impose restrictions on application, but from experience, we believe that this type of programme will benefit Young Artists who are no longer in formal education and are in the first few years of their professional career. For practical and financial reasons, most of the Young Artists will be based in the UK, but we certainly won’t exclude applications from slightly further afield.

We do not specify that you need to have had any specific degrees. We want you to be full of ideas, be open minded but also willing to listen. We want you to engage with and work with each other as well as the organisation. You will inform us as much as we will inform you.

Find out how to apply