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Sound and Music lead development of 'Music Patron', a new platform for composers

Sound and Music to lead development of Music Patron, a brand new online donation platform for composers

Sound and Music, the UK’s national organisation for new music, is being awarded significant funding from the Boltini Trust to lead the development of Music Patron, an ambitious new online platform that will connect composers directly with patrons. Sound and Music is also announcing the appointment of Sonia Stevenson as Head of Music Patron.

Music Patron will be an online platform like no other, creating new and direct sources of funding for the vital creative work of today’s composers – work which is all too often held up by a lack of funding. Music Patron is motivated by the ambition to support more composers to have more time to focus on composing, as well as to attract new audiences and patrons to engage directly with composers and the music they create. Funding through Music Patron will complement established funding models for composers in the UK, including commission fees, royalty payments, commercial income, project funding and awards.

Music Patron is the brainchild of philanthropist and composer Anthony Bolton, who is also funding the development through his family trust, the Boltini Trust. Music Patron will be made possible with substantial annual grant funding from the Boltini Trust over the next 5 years, at the end of which time it is hoped that the platform will be self-sustaining as well as channelling significant donations to hundreds of composers across the UK.

Commenting on the need for Music Patron, Anthony said:

Music Patron has never felt more important. The impact of the pandemic means that many composers are living with huge daily pressure to access the financial support and opportunities they need in order to create and compose music. There are also additional challenges such as cancelled or indefinitely postponed commissions, and even greater competition for funding, to name but a few. The future looks even more precarious and uncertain.

Although these issues have been escalated by COVID-19, the challenges facing composers in the UK to develop and maintain a sustainable and successful professional career are well established and long-recognised.

We don’t believe that Music Patron will solve all of the challenges composers face today. But we do believe it can have a positive impact and potentially transform the culture of giving in the UK. And we believe that many more people will support new music, if we create a space for them to do so.”

As incoming Head of Music Patron, Sonia Stevenson commented:

“I'm enormously excited to be taking up this new role creating, crafting and launching Music Patron. Much of my career has been spent helping composers in one guise or another, and I'm acutely aware of the challenges that they face. Composers are extraordinary people, but their work is often undervalued. Now more than ever they need support, and it's my sincere hope that Music Patron will help to address that need.”

Music Patron was conceived via consultation with a range of composers, organisations and individuals. As this project develops Sound and Music is committed to a collaborative approach – to bring in further consultation, to create an equal space for success and to open up this journey to others.

Susanna Eastburn MBE, Chief Executive of Sound and Music, commented:

Now is the time for Music Patron to come to life, as it responds both to the ever greater pressure on income sources for composers, and to the huge potential opened up by the growth in digital engagement. It is a great honour and responsibility for Sound and Music to be taking on the development of Music Patron. Anthony’s vision is an inspiring and generous one, bringing together his wish for a long-term change in how composers are supported with a belief that many more people will support them if given the opportunity to do so directly. From our earliest discussions, we have felt great synergy with the ambitions of Music Patron, and look forward to welcoming Sonia to the team and to making this vision a reality.”

Alongside the above, Sound and Music will be conducting an additional piece of research to better understand the needs of UK based composers, how they have and continue to be affected in 2020 and how we can help them to remain in the industry. The insight gained will directly inform the development of Music Patron.

About Sound and Music

Sound and Music is the national organisation for new music in the UK, and a charity.

Our mission is to maximise the opportunities for people to create and enjoy new music.

Our vision is to create a world where new music and sound prospers, transforming lives, challenging expectations and celebrating the work of its creators.

Our work includes composer and artist development, audience engagement and development, education, partnerships with a range of organisations, touring, information, advice and network building. We champion new music and the work of British composers and artists, and seek to ensure that they are at the heart of cultural life and enjoyed by many.

Sound and Music is a National Portfolio Organisation of Arts Council England. Find out more at:


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