Composer Development Scheme – Magnetic Resonator Piano

Xenia Pestova Bennet
Image Credit: © Damian Wojcik

Call for Proposals from emerging composers for Magnetic Resonator Piano

Deadline 18th August

Workshop 1 – 22nd September, London

Workshop 2 – w/c 6th November, London

Concert – Glasgow mid December

The Night With… announces its fifth call for development opportunity for emerging composers and those who may not have had many professional development opportunities. We especially welcome composers from minority backgrounds, female and female-identifying composers. 

This year, we will be working with Xenia Pestova Bennett and the Magnetic Resonator Piano, an electronically-augmented acoustic piano capable of infinite sustain, crescendos, harmonics and pitch bends developed by Andrew McPherson

Selected pieces will be workshopped in November and performed in December. 

We are seeking proposals from emerging composers. We will select five composers to attend the first workshop, which will be an introduction to the MRP. The composers will write a new c. 5-10 minute work for the MRP which will be workshopped w/c 6thNovember. At least one piece will be chosen for inclusion in The Night With… 2023 in December

The magnetic resonator piano (MRP) is an electronically-augmented acoustic piano capable of eliciting new sounds acoustically from the piano strings, without speakers. Electromagnets induce vibrations in the strings independently of the hammers, creating infinite sustain, crescendos, harmonics, pitch bends and new timbres, all controlled from the piano keyboard.

Full information on the MRP can be found here http://instrumentslab.org/research/mrp.html

Proposals should be up to 200 words outlining the piece composers would like to write, their interest in the MRP and how it will benefit their development as a composer. Two scores and/or recordings should be submitted at the same time. These do not need to include any keyboard instruments. 

It is the responsibility of the composer to acquire any rights or permissions to text used in the pieces. By submitting to this call for scores the composer confirms that these have been obtained.

It is recognized that composers can begin their career at any age. Therefor ‘emerging’ is defined by the composer themselves though will be at the discretion of judges. Example definitions of emerging include:

  • Currently in education or recently left
  • Have worked with an orchestra for a development opportunity (e.g. RSNO Composers Hub, LSO Soundhub) but not received regular commissions orchestral or otherwise
  • Not have an exclusive agreement with a publisher

These are not exhaustive examples. 

It is intended that the workshops will be documented through recording and photography/film. 

Attendance at both the workshops is required. Reasonable expenses up to £200 will be covered. 

The workshops will be open to the public and free to attend. 

Submission Process

All submission should be submitted through this form: https://forms.gle/xBYTddMMVGgeoLzR6

The form requires:

  • Up to 200 word expression of interest
  • Links to two existing scores
  • Links to recordings for scores (if available)
  • Biography, up to 350 words in Word format, of composer (this will not be used for judging the shortlist, only for eligibility and marketing if shortlisted)
  • Headshot

All links must be valid until 31st August.

Selected composers will be informed by the 1st September.

The Night With is a concert series based in Glasgow presenting salon style concerts of interesting music in intimate, informal venues across Scotland and further afield. Run by Matthew Whiteside, it provides development and commissioning opportunities for composers at all stages of their career.

Since founding The Night With… has presented 61 concerts, 15 commissions, 38 premières and released six albums on it’s record label TNW Music.


Xenia Pestova Bennett is an internationally acclaimed pianist and composer with a colourful career spanning over two decades across four continents. She is equally at home with classical and contemporary repertoire. Xenia’s nine albums to date include recordings of core piano duo works by John Cage and Karlheinz Stockhausen with Pascal Meyer (Naxos), “Shadow Piano” (Innova) for piano, toy piano and electronics, a “terrific album of dark, probing music” (Chicago Reader), the complete piano works by Gayle Young (Farpoint) hailed as “a triumph” (All About Jazz), and “Gold.Berg.Werk” (Ergodos), a reimagining of J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations by Karlheinz Essl described as “a sci-fi journey in the direction of 1741” (Luke Clancy, RTE Lyric FM Ireland). Her own compositions are available on Diatribe Records and TakuRoku. Her full-length album “Atomic Legacies” features Ligeti Quartet and the Magnetic Resonator Piano. Highlighted in Bandcamp’s “Best of Contemporary Classical” in 2020, the album was reviewed as “boldly conceived and brilliantly realised… a foretaste of things to come” (The Wire), “intoxicating, extraordinarily eerie and evocative” (Bernard Clarke, RTE LyricFM), “melancholy… heart-swells and proper feelings” (Jennifer Lucy Allan, The Quietus) and “a nuclear musical reaction that produces great, irradiated beauty” (Tom Service, BBC Radio 3).  www.xeniapestovabennett.com

We are grateful to the Leche Trust, the Fenton Arts Trust and PRS for Music Foundation for supporting this years development opportunity.