Project information

Objects at an Exhibition

Objects is about new audiences for new music. NMC has commissioned six composers to respond to the Science Museum's iconic collections. Working with Aurora we've planned schools and pop-up workshops, interactive premieres and an NMC release. We're still accepting donations towards Objects; thank you

May 2015 - January 2016

Charity information: NMC Recordings Ltd

NMC Recordings Ltd logo
  • Need


    NMC is all about expanding audiences for the best classical music written by living British composers. New music continues to suffer from a perception of irrelevance or remoteness, or is simply seen to be too challenging; premieres of commissions rarely attract the profile surrounding major events in other art forms; classical composers don't enjoy the exposure of other creative personalities; new work is rarely performed post-premiere; and young people are particularly hard to reach.


    By bringing brand new work out of the traditional concert hall setting and into one of the world's leading museums we hope to reach new listeners and deepen appreciation by offering 'orchestral theatre' in an inspiring context. Museum visitors can try composing, event audiences will become creators/performers in their own right, 11-14 year olds will explore the science curriculum through composition, and the works will live on and reach additional listeners via Aurora touring and an NMC release.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Create new audiences for new music


    » Commission six composers to create work inspired by the Science Museum's collections/galleries, premiere these at the Museum, and release on NMC.
    » Offer pop-up composing workshops and groundbreaking interactive 'orchestral theatre' premiere promenade events at the Museum
    » Run a cross-curricular schools composition project whereby 200 local 11-14 year olds explore their science curriculum through composition
    » Research how each partners' audiences/visitors respond to the project and widen their new music knowledge and horizons through various interactions

    Project monitoring/evaluation with all stakeholders; sharing of research findings across the sector; joint marketing/PR; ongoing interaction with new audiences

  • Impact


    New audiences engaged in an ongoing new music journey; future audience interactions with the partners (eg Museum music exhibition in 2018; wider Aurora events programme; NMC's role as an educator and new music resource (access to our extensive catalogue, Music Map etc); ongoing exposure for the composers (and related CD sales); how composition is used in the national curriculum and Aurora's deepened relationship with individual schools; how music is used in museums/galleries


    This is a £148k project so the risks are mostly around not raising enough money. We have secured a large portion of the funding already and have applied to trusts and foundations with relevant interests to bridge the gap but donations are crucial to securing the full budget. We have a partnership agreement and regular meetings schedule in place to ensure each partner is aware of its actions, commitments, monitoring and evaluation role etc.


    NMC already stewards hundreds of supporters and customers. Our audience research plans mean we can test how we relate to various audience segments throughout the project and beyond. Donors will receive regular project updates by email including re any changes that are needed as the project evolves.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £148,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £35,750 composition costs commissioning fees, music hire, composer expenses
      £40,095 rehearsals, recording/cd prdn player/conductor fees, studio hire, engineer/producer fees, editing/mastering; artwork, images, desi
      £22,300 performances event costs, player/conductor fees and expenses
      £10,100 schools project workshop leaders, science educators, musician fees, classroom resources, inset, filming/photography
      £10,500 marketing / audience devt agency fees for research, focus group costs, surveying etc; events promotion, cd marketing, digital
      £29,255 project management overseeing project development, staff time, han costs

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    PRS for Music Foundation £10,000 Guaranteed
    Britten-Pears Foundation £10,000 Guaranteed
    Boltini Trust £5,000 Guaranteed
    Partner contributions £35,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Based in South Kensington the Science Museum houses internationally renowned collections demonstrating innovation in science and technology. Daily visitor numbers average 9,000. Via the Tri-Borough Music Hub, students from schools local to the Museum where arts provision is lacking will be selected for the education project. Aurora Orchestra tours contemporary classical music to venues across the UK and internationally. NMC has a global reach promoting new music via CD, download and streaming.


    Museum visitors - many will be new to classical music; 400 school children with limited access to arts from deprived areas of Borough plus wider reach through classroom resources; new repertoire for Aurora players and audiences; increased profile and listenership for commissioned composers; increased profile and listenership for NMC catalogue (200+ recordings featuring 260 composers); partner audiences seeking to expand their listening horizons; museums sector re impact of music in galleries

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    NMC has been promoting new British classical music for 25 years ensuring it lives on beyond commission, premiere and limited broadcast/repeat performance opportunities. We've stayed ahead of the curve regarding digital and readily adopt new technology to expand our reach. Collaboration advances our role around new music education and audience development. We're experienced partners and with the huge added value that recording brings to the commissioning cycle are well-placed to advance audiences

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Anne Rushton, Executive Director, NMC Recordings

    Anne is coordinating the partners and overseeing Objects and looks after all contractual needs, composer liaison and the recording aspect.

    Dr Tim Boon, Head Of Research & Public History, The Science Museum

    Tim is committed to researching the role music can play in museums and represents and coordinates all the Museum's interests and involvement.

    John Harte, Chief Executive, Aurora Orchestra

    AO is responsible for creative content, the workshops, schools activity and premieres. John also looks after monitoring and evaluation.

    The Six Commissioned Composers

    Gerald Barry, Barry Guy, Christopher Mayo, Claudia Molitor, Thea Musgrave and David Sawer are amazing established composers with diverse approaches.