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Images of Rhondda Cynon Taf
Tlws y Cerddor has a new look for Eisteddfod RCT 2024

Open call to composers and music-creators

Tlws y Cyfansoddwr is a pathway offering three music-creators a paid opportunity to write for chamber ensemble – using images of Rhondda Cynon Taf as a catalyst for new compositions.  


The three resulting works will be performed at the National Eisteddfod Pavilion in August 2024 – in front of a projection of their chosen imagery. One of the three composers will awarded the Tlws y Cyfansoddwr  'Composer's Trophy' and a £750 prize.


The pathway is delivered by Tŷ Cerdd in partnership with the National Eisteddfod and the Welsh Music Guild, working with composer mentor John Rea four musicians from Sinfonia Cymru


The three selected composers will each receive £500 for their participation in a combination of in-person workshops and online contact. Applications are welcomed from music-creators from across Wales and expenses will be covered for any artists needing to travel to the workshops (Cardiff) and performance (Pontypridd).


Artists will be offered the opportunity for their completed works to be published by Tŷ Cerdd.


The ensemble line-up is as follows:

violin, clarinet, cello, piano


All applicants must be available for the following workshops/performances:

  • Friday 2 February 2024 – kick-off workshop (Tŷ Cerdd Studio, Cardiff)

  • Friday 12 April – workshop #2 (Tŷ Cerdd Studio, Cardiff)

  • Friday 7 June – workshop #3 (Tŷ Cerdd Studio, Cardiff)

  • workshop/rehearsal/performance during Eisteddfod (between Monday 5 & Saturday 10 August, Eisteddfod site - Parc Ynys Angharad, Pontypridd) 





  • Genre  While this opportunity is for music-creators who use music notation, we encourage applications from artists working in any musical style.

  • Welsh music-creators  If you’re creating original music and you’ve been based in Wales for at least a year, you’re eligible. Applications are welcomed from music-creators from across Wales.
    If you’re creative musically and fit one or more of the following guidelines, you are eligible to apply:

    • born in Wales, or

    • one of your parents was born in Wales, or

    • can speak or write in Welsh, or

    • who has lived or worked in Wales for 12 months prior to 31 August 2024

  • Diversity  We are keen to receive applications from individuals who are under-represented / have faced neglect or exclusion from the arts community; we particularly welcome applications from disabled people, Black, Asian and ethnically diverse people, LGBTQ+ people, and people from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

  • Welsh language  Workshops will be run bilingually, and participants are welcome no matter where they are on their journey with the Welsh language, and who demonstrate a commitment to the language and appreciation of its importance to this project.

  • Working with imagery  From photographs of post-industrial landscape, people or architecture, to fine-art of/inspired by the Rhondda – the use of visuals as a stimulus will be entirely in the hands of the participants. Just explain to us in your application how visual imagery might inspire you as a music-creator.

If you’re interested, but you have some questions…

…we can chat with you directly by phone or Zoom. Email us to arrange a call. We want to remove as many barriers as we can – so if there’s anything you’d like to talk to us about, let us know and we will try to help to find a solution.


To apply…

 …upload the following information to our portal

  1. Personal details: your name, email address, mobile number, address, confirmation that you are over 18

  2. Tell us about your practice:  Tell us about your practice as a composer creator and what you’ve been most proud of. (Max 200 words)

  3. Why would you like to be part of this pathway? How do you think this pathway will benefit your practice? Tell us how it builds on your previous experience and what you hope might change and develop through taking part? (Max 250 words)

  4. Why is Welsh language and culture important to you as a music creator? How might imagery of the Rhondda Cynon Taf inspire your new work? Tell us about your relationship to Wales and its language, and elements of Rhondda Cynon Taf landscape and culture that interest you. (We don’t need you to attach images to your application.)

  5. Do you have any access requirements? Tell us if there is any support or any conditions you need to enable you to participate in the pathway.

  6. Examples of your work: please attach 2 links or attachments to your music and the corresponding 2 scores where possible. (NB: for the audio please send links rather than sound or video files; if you need help creating links, let us know.)

Video and audio applications are also welcomed. Record your answers to questions 2-5 above (up to 5 minutes’ duration), and upload a link to your recording, adding the information requested in questions 1 & 6 to the upload form. If you need help creating a link to your video, email us for help.


Timeline & process

  • Deadline for applications: 1200 midday on Friday 8 December

  • The panel (John Rea; Elen Ellis from National Eisteddfod; Deborah Keyser & Steph Power from Tŷ Cerdd) will meet on Tuesday 12 December

  • We’ll let you know the outcome w/b Monday 18 December          



John Rea is a Wales-based composer whose varied career has spanned media, concert platform, rock bands, installations and more. Recent years have brought an increasing engagement with conceptual work, and he is inspired by imagery, found sound, archives and social history, as displayed in works such as Atgyfodi (with St Fagans National Museum of History).


Sinfonia Cymru is a flexible orchestra dedicated to developing the skills and careers of talented professional musicians aged under 30.

Welsh Music Guild’s purpose is advancing the understanding and appreciation of the music of composers of Welsh origin and the composers of any nationality resident in Wales.

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