The awards were created by Sound and Music to support UK-based composers and music creators who have lost work due to the COVID-19 crisis to undertake creative or professional development. In April 2020, Sound and Music temporarily repurposed its existing Francis Chagrin Award in order to respond to the needs of the composer community during the unprecedented pandemic emergency to create the COVID-19 Composer Awards.
These small-scale grants of £500 were awarded to composers and music creators looking to purchase essential equipment or develop skills during these times of quarantines and tiered restrictions, with a view to supporting composers and music creators longer-term ability to sustain themselves.
Sound and Music's Will Dutta commented, “During the stressful context of the pandemic these awards support composers to refocus their ambitions, further their learning and carve out time to compose with financial security. Every award has a unique impact on the composer’s creative and professional journey that we hope will see them more confident and resilient as a result. I want to personally thank our donors for enabling us to support 31 composers across two rounds so far.”