Musicians in Residence, China

British Council and PRS For Music Foundation's flagship music programme Musicians in Residence China is one of the most influential programmes in China. 

The residencies are designed to enable innovative British musicians who are looking for international experience to explore new musical territory, reach new audiences and write new material in the context of a changing international market.

Fruitful results of residencies

Started since November in 2011, up till now there has been four residency schemes. The programme received in total 12 musicians during the last three schemes covering 11 Chinese cities, namely Hangzhou, Chengdu, Xi'an, Xiamen, Kunming, Nanjing, Zhengzhou, Wuhan, Changsha, Chongqing and Hong Kong.The first residencies were with Gareth Bonello, Imogen Heap, Jamie Woon and Matthew Bourne relocating to the cities of Chengdu, Hangzhou, X’ian and Xiamen in 2011 and early 2012. The second residencies saw Oliver Coates, Sam Genders, Arun Ghosh, Anna Meredith and Sid Peacock travel to Hong Kong, Changsha, Wuhan, Hangzhou and Chonqing respectively; The third residencies saw Bella Hardy in Kunming, Mira Calix in Nanjing and Kerry Andrew in Zhengshou. One of the features of the programme is that the residence cities usually tend to be Tier 2 cities in China so that the musicians can immerse themselves in real lives of Chinese people.

The residencies have resulted in a diverse range of collaborations and outputs. Imogen Heap included the track XiZi She Knows, composed during her time in Hangzhou, on her 2014 album Sparks. In 2013 Gareth Bonello released the album Y Bardd Anfarwol (The Immortal Bard), combining Welsh and Chi-nese folk music to tell the life story of the Tang Dynasty poet Li Bai, which won Welsh Album of the Year at the 2014 National Eisteddfod, and was nominated for the 2014 Welsh Music Prize. Jamie Woon included Little Wonder, a song he wrote based on his residence in Xi'an in his album Making Timing, which was nominated by Mecury Prize in 2016.

Vanessa Reed, Executive Director of PRS for Music Foundation: “I am delighted that together with British Council we are supporting exciting and talented musicians to have this unique international opportunity, to create new music and build new international con-nections. I look forward to following how this experience contributes both to their creative devel-opment and their potential to reach new audiences.”  

Cathy Graham, British Council Director of Music, said: “I’m delighted that the British Council and PRS for Music Foundation’s Chinese Residency project once again support a talented and diverse group of UK-based musicians to benefit from a rare opportunity to immerse themselves in a different culture and to benefit from the creative relationships that the experience will bring. Having seen the positive impact that the Residency programme has had on the work of musicians taking part previously, I am excited to see what lasting benefits the experience in their respective cities will have on the artists.”

Laura Snapes, an editor from the influential online music magazine Pitchfork published an article on Musicians in Residence, China. The article overviewed the four rounds of the programme and listed some wonderful moments from different residencies. Please click here to read the article.

About PRS for Music Foundation
PRS for Music Foundation is the UK's leading funder of new music across all genres. Since 2000 the Foundation has awarded over £14 million to more than 4,000 new music projects. Widely re-spected as an adventurous and proactive funding body, PRS for Music Foundation supports an exceptional range of new music activity by awarding grants and leading partnership programmes that support the development of new music in the UK.