Arts Council's Music Commissions Awards Open for Applications

Arts Council's Music Commissions Awards Open for Applications

Deadline for music, traditional arts and opera schemes is Thursday 30 April.

The Arts Council’s Music, Traditional Arts, and Opera Commissions Awards are now open for applications. Submissions are invited from either individuals or organisations who wish to commission an artist. The deadline for all three schemes is 30 April 2020.

The aim of the awards is to facilitate partnerships between commissioners and artists and to create a specific performance or public presentation of new work. The funding ranges from €10,000 to €35,000.

Music Commissions Award
The Music Commissions Award offers a maximum of €12,000 to support the commissioning of a composer or musician. The commissioning process must lead to some form of outcome or conclusion. This might be a public performance, a process of engagement with a community or place or interest, or some other form of dissemination or presentation of the commissioned work in Ireland or abroad.

Projects that propose new works of high artistic quality, demonstrate a strong engagement process between commissioner and artist, and are from new types of commissioners will be prioritised. 

Previous recipients of the award include double bass player Caimin Gilmore who in 2019 commissioned four new works for solo double bass by composers Linda Buckley, Benedict Schlepper-Connolly, Sam Perkin and Nick Roth.

Also awarded funding in 2019 was Triskel Arts Centre who commissioned British composer Iain Bellamy to compose The Owl, a work for saxophone, piano, bass, vocals and percussion that premiered at the 2019 Cork World Book Fest.

Traditional Arts Commissions Award
The Traditional Arts Commissions Award supports the fees paid towards artists for the composition of new works up to a maximum of €10,000. The commission can be in traditional music, song, dance or oral arts. 

This award will prioritise proposals that demonstrate innovation and deepen the experience of portraying the art form, and that plan to reach significant audiences through various media such as live performances, broadcasts and recording. 

In 2019, the traditional music ensemble the In Tune for Life Orchestra was awarded funding to commission composer Ryan Molloy to write a ten-minute piece and to collaborate with the orchestra through three workshop sessions. 

Opera Commissions Award
The Opera Commissions Award supports the commissioning by opera producers of completed new operas for public performances. The commission must lead to a meaningful public engagement with the work. The maximum awarded is €35,000.

In 2019, NI Opera received funding to commission composer Tom Lane and librettist Sinéad Morrissey to create an opera for children that was performed with the Hard Rain Soloist Ensemble across venues in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

For details on how to apply to each award, visit see more previously awarded projects, visit

Published on 2 April 2020

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