September 14, 2023

New composers announced for LSO Jerwood Composer+

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We are pleased to announce the two composers who have been appointed to the LSO Jerwood Composer+ scheme.

Rufus Isabel Elliot and Anselm McDonnell will participate in a 15-month placement, developing and delivering two artistic projects while gaining entrepreneurial skills through mentoring by London Symphony Orchestra [LSO] staff.

Rufus and Anselm will have access to composition workshops and mentoring from other composers, industry professionals and musicians to develop their artistic practice and programme a showcase work of their own, as well as works by other composers. Both composers will present their first concerts in January and March 2024 at LSO St Luke’s. Learn more about them below.


Rufus Isabel Elliot (it/its) is a composer and musician originally from Tower Hamlets, living now in North West Scotland. Rufus has written funerary music for doomed spaceships and orchestral music about rotting seaweed. It cares about honesty and openness. Its work is concerned with testimony, the conditions in which one speaks out, and how those stories are passed on.

Its music is ‘fluid and ambitious’ (The Wire), ‘stunningly intimate’ (The Quietus), and ‘achingly fragile’ (The Scotsman).

So far this year, Rufus has enjoyed working on a new work for Tectonics Festival, and a new collaborative work with artists Miek Zwamborn and Rutger Emmelkamp of Knockvologan Studies, Isle of Mull.

When asked how it felt about being appointed to the LSO Jerwood Composer+ scheme, Rufus said,

I’m enjoying how much creative energy the project is already bringing me, as I anticipate bringing together works and ideas I’m excited about alongside composing new works for such amazing players.


Anselm McDonnell (1994) is an Irish/Welsh composer based in Belfast who has composed over 80 pieces for orchestra, chamber groups, choirs, soloists and electronics.

His music has been performed in 13 countries and he has been commissioned by some of the top new music ensembles in the UK/Ireland, such as the London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra and the Crash Ensemble. His music features on nine CDs, including two self-released albums: Light of Shore (2021) and Kraina (late 2023). In June 2023 he had portrait concerts dedicated to his music in Bangkok, and Chiang Mai, Thailand, by the TACETi Ensemble.

His compositions have been described as ‘abrasive and compelling’ (Irish Times) and ‘bristling with energy’ (GoldenPlec), and as having ‘an overall sense of anarchic freedom’ (Journal of Music). Of McDonnell’s music, Robert Hugill wrote, ‘perhaps the contrasts and complexities that it contains are a musical reflection of the multi-layered nature of what it means to be a composer in a community as complex as Northern Ireland’.

When asked how he felt about being appointed to the LSO Jerwood Composer+ scheme he said,

It’s both challenging and extremely rewarding to work with such excellent musicians. It’s going to be a fantastic opportunity for thinking outside the box.


Image of Rufus Isabel Elliot and Anselm McDonnell
Image of Rufus Isabel Elliot by Bethany Chalmers and Anselm McDonnell by