Festival of Contemporary Music for All

Opportunities for participation in new music for musicians of all ages and abilities.


The Festival of Contemporary Music for All is now firmly established as a biennial event. The Third Festival will take place across the UK and Europe over the weekend 7-8 March 2020. The Festival continues to grow and expect to include all previous partners and locations plus more. Planning is well under way and if your organisation would like to take part part, please contact info@coma.org.

Locations and Partners

The following locations and partners are confirmed for the Festival. Full details of activities will be published here soon.

West Cumbria
Venue: Rosehill Theatre, Whitehaven
Partners: Kate Halsall, Rosehill Theatre

Venue: Sage Gateshead
Partners:  Royal Northern Sinfonia, Sage Gateshead, University of Durham, James Weeks, CoMA North East

Venues: Royal Northern College of Music, Cosmo Rodewald Concert Hall
Partners: Bolton Music Services, RNCM, University of Manchester, RIOT Ensemble, CoMA Manchester

Venue: Heart Centre, Leeds
Partners: Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Amateur Ensembles in West Yorkshire, CoMA Leeds

Partners: Andrew Toovey, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

Venue: St Mary’s Church
Partners: Mick Peake, CoMA Wye Valley

Venue: University of Nottingham
Partners: CoMA East Midlands, University of Nottingham

East Coast Norfolk
Venue: Little Theatre, Sheringham, St George’s Theatre, Great Yarmouth, St Nicholas Church, North Walsham
Partners: Michael Finnissey, IXION Ensemble, Cantamus

Venue: Firesite Gallery
Partners: CoMA East, Firesite Gallery

East London
Venue: People’s Palace, QMUL
Partners: CoMA London, London Sinfonietta, Queen Mary University of London, Junior RCM, Hackney Community Orchestra, East London Community Band, CoMA Singers, THAMES Music Hub

West London
Venue: Twyford CofE High School, St Martin’s Church, St Alban’s Church
Partners: Nonesuch Orchestra,Twyford CofE High School

Partners: CoMA Singers, Canterbury Christ Church University, Kent Music Hub, Old Deer Park Primary School and a Kent Primary School

Venue: St Mary’s Church, Kemptown, Brighton
Partners: CoMA Sussex, RIOT Ensemble, New Music Brighton, CoMA South

Venue: Bath Spa University
Partners: Bath Spa University, CoMA Bristol

Venue: Royal Albert Memorial Museum
Partners: Devon Philharmonic Orchestra, RAMM

Riviera Coast
Venues: St Johns, Bridgetown, Totnes, Teignmouth Pavilions, Teignmouth
Partners: Torbay Symphony Orchestra, Saturday Morning Music (SaMM), Teignmouth Classical Music Festival

Venue: Truro School
Partners: Fresk, Partric Bailey, Boxing Cat Arts

Venue: Kerwall Theatre
Partners: Orkney New Music Ensemble, Kirkwall Grammar School, Orkney Orchestra

Partners: CoMA Glasgow, Glasgow University Music Dept

Berlin, Germany
Partners: KNM Campus Ensemble, KNM Ensemble

Eindhoven, Netherlands
Partners: CoMA Eindhoven, CoMA Maastricht

National Partners: Making Music, nonclassical, NMC Recordings

Plus other UK amateur music ensembles affiliated to Making Music in various locations.

Other locations are under discussion with other potential partners. If you would like to be a Festival partner, please contact Chris Shurety, Festival Director at info@coma.org



Larry Goves
Larry Goves

Larry Goves will be Artistic Director the Open Score project and has selected Sarah Hennies, Tim Parkinson, Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian, Matthew Sergeant and Joanna Bailie to also write for CoMA. Larry writes: “I am thrilled to be acting as Artistic Director for the year ahead. It’s a little daunting to be writing alongside such fantastic composers; There is great variety in these composers’ outputs but they’re all united by the sense of adventure and their relationship to documentary in their work (however elusive or explicit). I can’t wait to hear what they come up with!”

Kate Whitley will be writing a large scale piece for orchestra and choir and Lola de la Mata, Blasio Kavuma, Yfat Soul Zisso and Daniel Potter will writing pieces as nonclasical’s associate composers.

Six works for non-specific vocal ensembles will be commissioned by James Weeks and Janet Oates.

The 2020 Festival will also feature composition projects involving younger generations, all resulting in Festival premieres, including Junior RCM composers, young players of the East London Community Band, a multi-schools project writing for Nonesuch Orchestra and an environment themed brief with RNCM and Manchester University students.


We are delighted to receive funding from the PRS Foundation for commissions and from the Britten Pears Foundation and the Foyle Foundation for the 2020 Festival.


Keychange is a pioneering international initiative which empowers women to transform the future of music and encourages festivals to achieve a 50:50 gender balance by 2022. Its is led by PRS Foundation and supported by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union. The Festival of Contemporary Music for All is signed up to the initiative and in the 2018 Festival achieved the target of 50% of the music written by women.

Keychange logo

Previous Festivals

The inaugural Festival in March 2016 was a partnership involving 20 professional ensembles, national music organisations, conservatoires and music hubs in six locations the festival.

The Second Festival mainly took place over the weekend of 2-4 March 2018. Despite the extreme weather conditions, most of the Festival events went ahead as planned, however there were some postponements. Events were rescheduled for Birmingham (14 October), Bristol (5 May), Cardiff (3 May), Edinburgh (21 April), Huddersfield (28 April) and Torrington (19-20 July). The Festival took place in 21 locations across the UK and Europe and over 900 adult amateur and youth musicians took part. 86 contemporary works representing 79 composers and 27 premieres were performed. More details can be found here.

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