Shortlist Unveiled for the 12th British Composer Awards

Shortlist Unveiled for the 12th British Composer Awards

The British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) has announced the 35 works shortlisted for the 2014 British Composer Awards. The winners will be unveiled at a ceremony at Goldsmiths’ Hall, London on Tuesday 2 December 2014 and will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s Hear and Now at 10pm on Saturday 6 December.  The keynote speaker for the evening will be Dame Evelyn Glennie who will also present the Awards to the winners. The full shortlist can be found at the end of this article.

The British Composer Awards (BCA) are unique around the world in making contemporary music, jazz and sonic art the focus of their annual celebration. The Awards seek to promote the art of composition, to recognise the creative talent of composers and sound artists and to bring their music to a wider audience. This year over 300 works were submitted by more than 250 composers. The shortlist of 35 works – by 32 different composers – reflects the strength and breadth of modern composition, from those in their twenties all the way up to one centenarian.

Kerry Andrew has been shortlisted twice: for Woodwose: A Community Opera in the Community or Educational Project category and for Dart’s Love in the Stage Works category.

Along with Kerry Andrew, both John McCabe and Harrison Birtwistle have been shortlisted twice – Birtwistle in Vocal (Songs from the same Earth) and Choral (The Moth Requiem) and John McCabe in Instrumental Solo or Duo (Sonata after William Byrd’s Haec Dies) and Orchestral (Joybox).

There are nine composers represented on the shortlist for the first time, including Samuel Bordoli for Live Music Sculpture 3 (Choral), Tom White for Public Address (Sonic Art) and Jon Opstad for IGNIS (Stage Works). Bordoli (aged 27) and White (aged 28) are the youngest shortlisted composers.

The other composers to be shortlisted for the first time are Martin Iddon with Danaë (Chamber), David Fennessy for Hauptstimme (Chamber), Christopher Trapani with Visions and Revisions (International Award) as well as all three composers in the Contemporary Jazz Composition category: Julian Argüelles with Hocus Pocus, John Butcher with Tarab Cuts and Django Bates with The Study of Touch.

Three works in the shortlist were given world premiere performances at the BBC Proms: Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Frieze (Orchestral), Thomas Adès’ Totentanz (Vocal) and John McCabe’s Joybox (Orchestral).

Sadly one shortlisted composer’s work was submitted posthumously – Elliott Carter’s Epigrams (International Award), a work commissioned by the Aldeburgh Festival and Tanglewood Festival and dedicated to Pierre-Laurent Aimard. Epigrams was Elliott Carter’s final work and was composed during the spring and summer of 2012 when he was 103.

Perhaps surprisingly, the Stage Works shortlisted category contains no full scale operas but instead two chamber operas (Captain Blood’s Revenge by Lynne Plowman and Dart’s Love by Kerry Andrew) and a work for contemporary dance (IGNIS by Jon Opstad).

 The Wild Reeds for organ by the new Master of the Queen’s Music, Judith Weir is shortlisted for Instrumental Solo or Duo. It is a partita, written for Thomas Trotter in honour of his remarkable thirty years as Birmingham City Organist.

Details of the shortlisted works, including programme notes and musical extracts can be accessed by clicking here

 John Quinn

2014 British Composer Awards Shortlist

Instrumental Solo or Duo

Solitude by Rebecca Saunders
Sonata after William Byrd’s Haec Dies by John McCabe
The Wild Reeds by Judith Weir

Danaё by Martin Iddon
Hauptstimme by David Fennessy
Renewal by Luke Bedford

Flodden by Sally Beamish
Songs from the same Earth by Harrison Birtwistle
Totentanz by Thomas Adès

Live Music Sculpture 3 by Samuel Bordoli
Night Flight by Cecilia McDowall
The Moth Requiem by Harrison Birtwistle

Wind Band or Brass Band
Journey of the Lone Wolf by Simon Dobson
Kjeden by Paul McGhee
Th’owfen Raconteurs by Lucy Pankhurst

Frieze by Mark-Anthony Turnage
Joybox by John McCabe
Near Midnight by Helen Grime

Stage Works
Captain Blood’s Revenge by Lynne Plowman
Dart’s Love by Kerry Andrew
IGNIS by Jon Opstad

Chaconne for Jonathan Harvey by Ed Hughes
Hodie nobis de coelo pax by Paul Ayres
The Portsmouth Service by Jonathan Dove

Sonic Art
Chorus by Ray Lee
On Air by Caroline Devine
Public Address by Tom White

Contemporary Jazz Composition
Hocus Pocus by Julian Argüelles
Tarab Cuts by John Butcher
The Study of Touch by Django Bates

Community or Educational Project
Dark Clouds are Smouldering into Red by James Redwood
Woodwose: A Community Chamber Opera by Kerry Andrew

Making Music Award – to be announced at the ceremony

International Award
Circle Map by Kaija Saariaho
Epigrams by Elliott Carter
Visions and Revisions by Christopher Trapani


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