Applications to become a 2017 CMF Artist now open

Become a CMF Artist.

Conditions of Entry and Application Form Guideline Spring 2017

Please read the following information before applying.

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.
  • 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

2017 CMF Artists will commence the CMF Artist Programme in September 2017 and will be expected to end in autumn 2019.

Auditions take place annually and new Artists commence every September for approximately 2 years. Therefore, we have two years’ worth of Artist running concurrently.

There is no audition fee.

All applications are seen and thoroughly evaluated by panels of specialist judges in two rounds.

The CMF panel of judges is chaired by Ian Ritchie. Your application will be reviewed by at least two judges, plus members of the City Music Foundation team. Previous lists of judges can be found on the CMF website.

The first round of judging is your submitted application form and audio/visual material. The second round is live in front of a panel of five judges.

The judge’s decision is final.

CMF reserves the right to deny feedback on any application.

The number of CMF Artists selected annually is not fixed.

Conditions of Entry validity

This Conditions of Entry is valid from January 2017 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 2017.

3. Applicants must be based in the UK for the full two year period, from 1st September 2017 to 31st August 2019, 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. All applicants must be able to attend the live auditions in central London on 18th AND 19th July 2017.

5 Should you have any questions regarding your application, please contact

6. If you have already benefitted from the CMF as a soloist, or as a member of an ensemble, you cannot apply.

7. Applicants who have previously applied, but been unsuccessful, are welcome to apply again.

8. Applicants must not have commercial management/booking agent at the time of applying.

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

Round 1: Online Application For round 1, you must submit the online application form found on the CMF website and supply two separate examples of audio visual media to support your application, as well as two referees.

The application form will go live on the City Music Foundation website in the week beginning Monday 6th March 2017.

Audio visual requirements:

  • You must supply the CMF team with 2 audio/visual links to support your written application.
  • One of links must be a visual recording of a live performance.
  • The audio/visual material should be in either Youtube, Soundcloud or Vimeo format. No other online versions will be accepted.
  • The material should be of a good sound quality, recent (ideally within 6 months, and not older than 12 months) and properly represent you.

A useful instruction video on how to self-direct an audition video can be found here

Referees You must supply the name, phone number and email address of two referees of people working in the industry that know you in a professional capacity. Please make sure they know you are applying.

Should you advance to the live auditions, the referees will be contacted and asked to complete a reference form about you.

The application deadline is Friday 28th April, 12pm. 6 Should you have any questions regarding your application, please contact

Round 2: Live Audition The live audition will consist of a 15 minute performance and a 10 minute interview. The dates are 18th and 19th July 2017 and you must be available on both days.

Performance requirements

  • You must prepare 30 minutes’ worth of music for the judging panel to select from.
  • The programme must contain a minimum of three separate pieces.
  • One of the works programmed must be from the standard canon of repertoire for your instrument or ensemble type.
  • Your programme should be balanced and demonstrate your personal musical output.
  • At least one of the pieces must be performed from memory.
  • Individual movements of works will be accepted.
  • You must prepare 2 (two) copies of music for the judges to use as reference.
  • You must inform the CMF Team of your full 30 minute programme by Monday 9th July 2017.

Interview requirements The interview will be conducted by the panel of five judges to determine your musical aspirations and commitment.

No additional material is required for the interview.

Piano/equipment and accompanists A Steinway Model C will be made available to all auditionees, as well piano stools, chair and music stands.

Applicants must provide their own accompanist where appropriate.

For jazz artists, please bring your own accompanists, and equipment. Power sockets will be made available for amps.

The application form is available on the new CMF website and can be filled in online, and saved as you go along to come back to.

If you have any queries please email us on

Section 1: Personal details Complete the document with up to date details for all categories. We will contact you primarily via email during the audition process so please do ensure that this is correct.

Please ensure there is an up to date postal address for the final letter of confirmation.

If you are applying as an ensemble, please select a member of your group to be the main point of contact.

If you do not have a website or social media pages, leave these sections blank.

Please ensure that details of your referees are up to date and correct, and that they are informed in advance that we will be in touch.

Section 2: Background Please provide us with details of any educational institutions you attended, as well as any professional training courses you may have undertaken. If you are a group, a list of all members’ backgrounds would be useful. If applicable, list any organisations/foundations that have supported you in any way, financial or otherwise.

We do not accept applications from candidates still in full-time education. You are welcome to apply if you are currently completing a part-time post-graduate certificate, masters or equivalent.

Section 3: Being a CMF Artist This section is for you to note your musical ambitions and ideas so we can gain a sense of how you would work with CMF and what we could achieve together.

CMF assists artists in planning and implementing a bespoke project over a two year period. This might include additional concerts, curating and planning a tour, provision of quality audio and visual recording for commercial and promotional purposes, commissioning of new music, website creation, professional photographs, additional mentoring and introductions to key music industry professionals.

If you have any questions about being a CMF artist, please visit our website or contact the team on 8 Should you have any questions regarding your application, please contact

Section 4: Audio/visual support Please copy the website’s URL in the correct box (YouTube, Soundcloud or Vimeo). Your video and audio files need to be available to view online the day you apply and must remain there for us to view up until Friday 19th May 2017. At least one must be video format.

Please note we do NOT accept CDs/DVDs or files in any other format than those listed above.

If you wish to protect you video with a password, inform us of this in the box provided. If your links include your original composition, please list yourself as the composer.

Section 5: Checklist Please ensure that all areas of the form are completed before sending to CMF. If your application is incomplete, it will not be accepted.

If required, a copy of your visa to reside and work in the UK should be uploaded.

Section 6: Confirmation and administration By signing this, you agree to comply with all of the conditions of entry and agree to accept the judges’ decision and that of the City Music Foundation as final.

Unfortunately, CMF is not able to provide details individual feedback.

Those advancing through to the live auditions will be informed of their result by Friday 26th May 2017.


Download a PDF of the Conditions of Entry.

Application Deadline:

Friday 28th April 2017, 12 noon

Applications received after this date will not be accepted. Applications will only be accepted via our website.

Start your application

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