Applications to be a 2018 CMF Artist are now open

Applications are now open!

Read below to find our more about our application procedure

Our mission is to turn exceptional musical talent into professional success by equipping outstanding musicians with the tools, skills, experience and networks they need to build and sustain rewarding profitable careers.

Through an annual competitive audition process we select classical soloists and chamber ensembles, as well as jazz, folk and world musicians. The CMF Artists then engage in an innovative two-year programme, which includes artistic and business mentoring as well as professional development workshops. These workshops cover a range of topics from managing finances, tax and pensions, and legal input on copyright and contracts, to presentation skills, promotion and publicity strategies and more.

CMF’s key position in the City means we can use our experience, knowledge and connections within the music industry, City institutions and the corporate world to provide unique and unrivalled support and education for our musicians.

We also work with the CMF Artists to establish promotional tools, such as websites, photos, recordings and videos, and the Artist Manager arranges live performance opportunities. Finally the musicians are fully supported by CMF in devising, organising, funding and promoting a bespoke musical project to help them develop a unique niche and selling point.

We believe that by investing in these talented musicians early in their professional careers we can not only secure their employment, but help to ensure the future of quality music in the UK and beyond.

The CMF Artist Programme lasts for approximately two years. The programme consists of:

  • Senior business people as personal mentors through collaborations with City firms.
  • Artistic mentoring with established, acclaimed international players.
  • A series of tailored professional development workshops and seminars drawing on an extensive network of contacts in the music industry and in City institutions and commerce. Subjects include tax and financial management, networking, presentation skills, contracts and legal issues, agents, PR, using social media, pitching to venues and festivals, programming and many more.
  • Performances in CMF-produced events, festivals and residencies
  • Essential promotional tools such as a new website designed and tailored to the artist’s requirements, high quality recording and a CD, and high quality photos, film and videos.
  • Day to day access to the Artist Manager who works like an agent to secure as many live concert bookings as possible
  • Help and support curating performances, which may include new commissions – musical, visual arts, poetry – to help CMF Artists develop their USP

We select CMF Artists annually through a competitive audition process, our next round of applications will open on Monday 5th March 2018. 

Conditions of Entry validity
This Conditions of Entry is valid from February 2018 until further notice.

Instruments, genres and groups assessed
The CMF will accept applications from the following categories:

Solo Applications:

  • Keyboard: Piano, Harpsichord, Organ, Accordion (including chamber/accompanying Piano)
  • Strings: Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, Guitar, Harp
  • Woodwind: Recorder, Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Saxophone
  • Brass: Horn, Trumpet, Cornet, Flugelhorn, Eb Horn, Trombone, Bass Trombone, Baritone, Euphonium, Tuba
  • Percussion
  • Singing: all voices

Ensembles of up to five members, including but not limited to:

  • String Ensemble
  • Wind Ensemble
  • Brass Ensemble
  • Mixed Ensemble
  • Vocal Ensemble

Genres include:

  • Classical / Contemporary Classical
  • Jazz
  • Folk
  • World


If you unsure about whether to apply as a soloist or as part of your ensemble (especially within the jazz genre), please do contact


  1. There are no upper or lower age limits.
  2. Applicants must have finished their full-time tertiary education by the 1st September 2018. If studying a part-time diploma or similar, applicants are welcome to apply.
  3.  Applicants must be a resident in the UK for the full two-year period, from 1st September 2018 to 31st August 2020, as a minimum.
  4. Applicants must hold the correct visa to work in the UK for the full two-year period. This must be a full working visa and not a student visa (including Tier 4) attached to any institution or place of study.
  5. The Artist must have a commitment to living and working in the UK for the full two-year period.
  6. All applicants must be able to attend the live auditions in central London on 18th AND 19th June 2018.
  7. If you have already benefited from CMF as a soloist, or as a member of an ensemble, you cannot apply.
  8. Applicants who have previously applied, but been unsuccessful, are very welcome to apply again.
  9. Applicants must not have a commercial manager/booking agent at the time of applying.
  10. Applications must be completed online by Monday 30th April, 12:00.


If you have any queries about the above, please be in touch with the CMF team on

Auditions take place annually and new Artists commence with CMF every September. Therefore, we have at least two years’ worth of CMF Artists running concurrently.

The number of CMF Artists selected annually is not fixed.

Applications are seen and thoroughly evaluated by panels of specialist judges in two rounds: 1 online application, and 1 live audition. 
All applications will be reviewed by at least two  external specialist judges, as well as members of the CMF team.
Previous examples of specialist judges can be found below.

The first round of judging is your written application form (completed on the CMF website), supported by audio/visual material.
The second round is a live audition in front of a panel of five judges.

There is no audition fee.

The deadline for applications is Monday 30th April, 12:00


For round 1, you must submit the online application form (button at the bottom of this page) and supply two separate examples of audio visual media to support your application, as well as two reference details. 

For round 2, the live audition will consist of a 15 minute performance and a 10 minute interview.

The live auditions will take place in central London on the 18th and 19th June 2018.


For detailed information about the audition process, please download our full Terms of Reference 

2017 Judges
Ian Ritchie, Chairman of panel, festival curator artistic director
Seb Scotney, Editor, London Jazz News
Andrew West, Royal Academy of Music
Hilary Davan Wetton, Conductor
Andrew Watkinson, Endellion Quartet
Paul Keene, Classical Music Programmer, Barbican
Ben Pateman, Music consultant, Flautist
Sholto Kynoch, Pianist and Artistic Director, Oxford Lieder Festival
Louise Williams, Violist
Richard Thomas, Trumpet
Joan Rodgers, Soprano
Sandy Burnett, 
jazz bassist, journalist, broadcaster
Leslie East,
Chairman ABCD, former CEO ABRSM

Judges – 2016
Ian Ritchie, Chairman of panel, festival curator artistic director
Jonathan Bloxham, conductor, cellist
Sandy Burnett, jazz bassist, journalist, broadcaster
Iain Burnside, pianist, curator and broadcaster
Robert Cohen, cellist
Leslie East, Chairman ABCD, former CEO ABRSM
Sian Edwards, conductor
Paul Keene, Classical music programmer, Barbican
Mats Lidstrom, cellist
Sebastian Scotney, Editor, London Jazz News
Daniel Tong, pianist
Joan Rodgers, soprano

Judges – 2015
Ian Ritchie, Chair of Judging Committee
Leslie East – CEO Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music
Sebastian Scotney – London Jazz News
Paul Keene – Barbican Centre
Mats Lidstrom – Cellist and composer
William Bennett – Flautist
Howard Williams – Conductor
Ben Baker – Violinist
Jonathan Bloxham – Cellist
Margaret Archibald – Clarinettist
Noriko Ogawa – Pianist
Sandy Burnett – Broadcaster, conductor, bassist, lecturer

Previous judges have included
Alistair Anderson – Folk Musician
Ian Brown – Pianist, Nash Ensemble
Paul Cassidy – Violist, Brodsky Quartet
John Gilhooly – Wigmore Hall
David Jones – Director, SERIOUS
Sally Matthews – Soprano
Dr Andrew Parmley – former master of the Worshipful Company of Musicians
Jennifer Pike – Violinist
Alison Balsom – Trumpeter
Ian Brown – Pianist, Nash Ensemble
Levon Chilingirian – Founder & Violinist, Chilingirian Quartet
Jacqui Dankworth – Jazz singer
Jeremy Hayes – Proprietor, Potton Hall
Stephen Lumsden – Managing Director, Intermusica
Andy Panayi – Jazz musician and composer
Joan Rodgers CBE – internationally renowned soprano
Charlie Wood – Jazz musician and composer



Download our Conditions of Entry here

Application Deadline:

Monday 30th April, 12:00

Applications received after 12:00 on the 30th April may not be accepted.

Apply Now

Ensure that you have read the Conditions of Entry document and have all the information requested above before proceeding.