Nigerian-British composer and singer-songwriter Helen Epega, performing under the stage name The Venus Bushfires, has been awarded the ground-breaking Composers Fund. Her pieces are described as “new work telling British stories from trending topics on Twitter (UK), from a Nigerian perspective expressed through indigenous, African and Western classical instruments”.
“I’m pleased to share that I’m one of the seven recipients of the latest PRS Foundation Composers’ Award. I also facilitate expressive arts workshops, give talks and keynotes in the UK and internationally on how I composed the world's first pidgin (broken English) opera ‘Song Queen: A Pidgin Opera’.
“I harness music to bring seemingly disparate groups together to exchange ideas in a meaningful way”.
Elizabeth Sills, Grants & Programmes Manager at PRS Foundation said:
“Congratulations to each of the seven exceptional composers in this round of funding. We’re delighted that through The Composers’ Fund we are able to support talented composers at crucial stages in their careers to take that next step in their development.
“Together with our friends at Jerwood Arts, we are very much looking forward to seeing the impact of this support for their respective projects on each of their careers moving forward.”
About the Composers’ Award
The Composers’ Fund supports the creative and professional development of talented composers with a strong track record and at pivotal stages in their career. Launched by PRS Foundation in 2016 the fund offers grants of up to £10,000 to support and enable composers to realise projects and ambitions that may not be possible through traditional commissioning models.
Since its launch the fund has supported projects such as recordings, the promotion and performance of existing works, international co-commissions and development, performer collaboration, residencies, sabbaticals or childcare costs and project or promotional support.
This round is the fourth in partnership with Jerwood Arts, which since 2020 has enabled increased support to those composers that meet the fund’s criteria and whose activities take place in the UK and who are less than 10 years into their career.
For more information, including a list of the other 2022 award recipients, visit the PRS Foundation website.