Folk Artists Shine in Latest Emerging Excellence Awards

We are proud to announce that 25 of the UK’s most promising artists have been selected to receive grants of up to £3,000 at the latest round of the Emerging Excellence Awards.

Seven classical artists, six folk, two jazz, and ten songwriters and bands have been awarded funding for an exciting range of projects ranging from album recordings and tours to the production of newly commissioned operas.

This round has proven to be a particularly strong one for folk artists, with panellists impressed by the outstanding talent and innovation of breakthrough musicians in this category.

Hannah James was awarded £3,000 for the development of a new solo show, while Manchester fiddler Emma Sweeney received £2,750 to attend the prestigious Subramaniam Academy of Performing Arts in the Indian city of Bangalore.

Described as “Becoming one of the hottest tickets in folk”, duet Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker were awarded £1,500 to promote their much anticipated album Nothing Can Bring Back the Hour.

Since launching in 2012 the Emerging Excellence Awards have now supported more than 100 talented artists by providing funding at a crucial point in their careers.

This round saw a record number of 252 applications. A team of industry advisors helped to narrow the applications down to a selection of 40, with twelve of these artists invited to our Kings Cross office to pitch their proposals ‘Dragons’ Den’ style to an independent panel of musicians and music industry professionals.

We would like to thank our expert adjudicators who included:

Ross Dines – Music Manager, Pizza Express
Will Dutta – composer / curator
Max Reinhardt – broadcaster
Errollyn Wallen MBE – composer
Chris Bye – Arts Council England
Ruth Daniel – creative social music entrepreneur
Tony Gleed – promoter (Bugbear bookings)
Louise Hart – artist manager (Miracle Management)
Ian Sillett – Head of Songwriting, BIMM Brighton

If you think you’ve got what it takes and would like to apply for an Emerging Excellence Award, visit the Emerging professionals page for more information. Details on the 2015 awards will be available in Autumn.

Successful artists – Round 5

Benyounes Quartet

Dear Pariah

Dr K Sextet

Duo van Vliet (pictured second right)

Emma Sweeney (pictured top right)



Geraint Rhys

Hannah James

Haraket (pictured third right)

Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker

K’antu Ensemble

Kaleidoscope Saxophone Quartet

Kate Miller

Kelly Oliver

Lewis Wright (pictured forth right)

Rachael Dadd


Sam Watts

Sarah Hayes


The Paddy Callaghan Trio

The Slow Revolt

Then Thickens

William Kunhardt

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