Call for Entries
Each year, at the end of May, BASCA will open the Call for Entries and close it at the beginning of July.
Anyone, including the composer, can submit a work for consideration for an award. To be eligible for 2019, works must have received a UK première performance, either live or broadcast, between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019.
For full information please visit BASCA’s awards entry site.
The 2018 British Composer Awards winners were announced on 4 December. For full information about the nominated works click here.
Ceremony and Tickets
The award ceremony took place at the British Museum on Tuesday 4 December 2018, 5pm- 9.30pm. The evening included a complimentary drinks reception and bowl food.
The ceremony will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on 9.20pm, Sunday 9 December.
- Friday 25 May – Call for entries open
- Monday 9 July – Deadline for entries
- WK 20 August – Judging period begins
- Friday 12 October – Nominated composers confidentially informed in writing
- End of October – Tickets on sale to attend the ceremony
- Thursday 1 November – Nominations Press Announcement
- Tuesday 4 December – The 16th British Composer Awards
- Sunday 9 December – Broadcast of the ceremony on BBC Radio 3, 9.20pm
For Flute, Saxophone - Alto/Baritone, Bassoon, Horn in F, Trumpet in Bb, Percussion 1 - Toms (3), Triangle, Vibraphone, other untuned percussion, Percussion 2 - Vibraphone, Marimba, other untuned percussion, Violin 1, Violin 2, Viola, 'Cello, Double Bass, Electric Keyboards (Figurenotes Notation), iPads (3)(ThumbJam App), Laptops (Notion Performance software), Roland Handsonic, Roland Digital Drumkit, Vocals
Commissioner: National Youth Orchestras of Scotland and Drake Music Scotland
UK premiere: 12th August 2017 at the Tom Fleming Centre, Melville College, Edinburgh
The Caretaker’s Guide to the Orchestra
For full orchestra
Commissioner: Docklands Sinfonia
Performed by: Docklands Sinfonia
UK premiere: 7 July 2017 at St Anne's Limehouse, London
Libro di fiammelle e ombre
For 6 solo voices
Performed by: EXAUDI
UK premiere: 1 April 2017 at Wigmore Hall, London
fl.ob(=ca).cl.bcl.bsn - 2 hn.tpt.trbn - perc(2) 1: glsp/high and low cym/small claves/hyoshigi (large Japanese claves)/mokusho (very high wdbl)/large tam-t 2: mar/rin/small Japanese drum/medium cym/2 whips (sprung)/3 tpbl/mcas/tgl/BD - pno(=cel) - harp - solo flute - solo soprano - 4 vln.2 vla.2 vlc.db
Commissioner: Co-commissioned by Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and Snape Maltings with financial assistance from Arts Council England, John Feeney Charitable Trust, BCMG’s Sound Investors and the Jonathan Reekie Leaving Fund.
Published by: Faber Music
Performed by: Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
UK premiere: 23 June 2017 in the Britten Studio in Snape Maltings at the Aldeburgh Festival
Tanz/haus : triptych 2017
For Fl, Cl, Perc, Pf, Acdn, ElecGtr, Vln, Vc, Db + Electronics
Commissioner: Red Note Ensemble, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Sound, Transit and November Music
Published by: Peters Edition
Performed by: Red Note Ensemble, conducted by Geofrey Patterson
UK premiere: 17 November 2017 at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival
In the Land of Uz
For Narrator, SATB chorus, solo tenor and instrumental ensemble (soprano saxophone, trumpet, tuba, viola, double bass and organ)
Commissioner: BBC Radio 3
Published by: Chester Music
Performed by: BBC Singers, with Adrian Thompson (tenor) and the Nash Ensemble. Conducted by David Hill
UK premiere: 12 August 2017 at BBC Proms at Southwark Cathedral, London
For Double Choir, Carnatic Singer (optional), Indian Violin, Sitar, Veena and Indian Percussion
Commissioner: National Youth Choirs of Great Britain
Performed by: National Youth Training Choir with the Tarang Ensemble, conducted by Robbie Jacobs
UK premiere: 13 April 2017 at Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner- a retelling for our times
For children's chorus and 25 piece chamber ensemble
Commissioner: Funded by Lobs Trust, Robin Leith Trust, Ian Fleming Trust, Thornton Foundation and Innovation Initiative Grant from the Edinburgh Fund
UK premiere: 21 March 2018 at Old College Quad, University of Edinburgh
For Trumpet Bb (x2), Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Trombone, Tuba, Guitar, Piano/Rhodes, Upright Bass, Drums
Performed by: SEED Ensemble
UK premiere: 28 April 2017 at Foyles Bookshop Bi-monthly Residency
For Soprano Sax, Alto Sax, Baritone Sax, Trombone 1, Trombone 2, Bass Trombone, Trumpet 1, Trumpet 2, Trumpet 3, Guitar 1, Guitar 2, Piano, Rhodes, Double Bass, Drums
UK premiere: 15 June 2017 at The Wonder Inn, Manchester
Close to Ecstasy
For piano, harmonica, acoustic & electric guitar, fretless bass, kit, percussion
UK premiere: 1 November 2017 at The 606 Club in London
For tenor saxophone, fender rhodes, mellotron, nord lead, acoustic bass, drums
UK premiere: 18 March 2018 at Colston Hall, Bristol Jazz and Blues Festival 2018
For rec - 184.108.40.206 - 220.127.116.11 - timp.2perc - str
Commissioner: Evelyn Nallen and Barbara Law, assisted by generous donations from the Society of Recorder Players and its members, and the Vale of Glamorgan Festival (with funds provided by The Hinrichsen Foundation
Performed by: BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Tecwyn Evans
UK premiere: 25 May 2017 at the Vale of Glamorgan Festival 2017, BBC Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff
The Imaginary Museum
For piano and orchestra
Commissioner: Co-commissioned by BBC Radio 3, Bergen Filharmoniske Orkester and Sydney Symphony Orchestra
Published by: Schott Music
Performed by: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra with pianist Steven Osborne and conducted by Ilan Volkov
UK premiere: 26 July 2017 at the BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall London
For string quartet
Commissioner: Wigmore Hall, with the support of André Hoffmann, president of the Fondation Hoffmann, a Swiss grant-making foundation; The Dina Koston and Roger Shapiro Fund in the Library of Congress; ECLAT Festival Stuttgart; Festival Musica Strasbourg; Philharmonie Luxembourg; Klangspuren Schwaz; November Music
Published by: Edition Peters
Performed by: Quatuor Diotima
UK premiere: 18 January 2018 at Wigmore Hall, London
A Damned Mob of Scribbling Women
For mezzo soprano and piano
Commissioner: Lucy Goddard and Siwan Rhys, with support from Snape Maltings, ACE, PRSF, RVW Trust and Hinrichsen Foundation
UK premiere: 6 October 2017 at Brunel Tunnel Shaft concert, Rotherhithe, London
Halfway to Heaven
For SSATB multichannel, synchronised and interactive sound installation, coded with C and created with: custom-built computer, ultrasonic sensors, and marine speakers in custom-made memorial urn housing.
Commissioner: Folkestone Triennial / Creative Foundation, Folkestone
UK premiere: Exhibited from 2 September-5 November 2017
For string quartet
Commissioner: : A Cryptic / Ragzazze Quartet Co-Commission, in partnership with deSingel (Belgium) and Grand Theatre Groningen (Netherlands), produced by Cryptic.
Performed by: The Ragazze Quartet
UK premiere: 1 November 2017 at Tramway Glasgow as part of Sonica, Cryptic's biennial festival of world-class visual sonic art
The World’s Wife
For amplified soprano, amplified string quartet, performer operated loop devices controlling an ableton rig
Commissioner: Welsh National Opera and the Mavron Quartet
Performed by: Mavron Quartet
UK premiere: 15 October 2017 at Weston Studio Theatre, Wales Millenium Centre, Cardiff as part of Welsh National Opera Autumn season
Dark Arteries Suite
For brass band and percussion
Published by: Faber Music
Performed by: National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain, conducted by Bramwell Tovey
UK premiere: 22 April 2017 at the Barbican Centre, London
For brass band and percussion
Commissioner: Paul Hindmarsh (Brass Band Heritage Trust)
Performed by: RNCM Brass Band, conducted by James Gourlay
UK premiere: 28 January 2018 at RNCM Brass Band Festival
Sir Peter Maxwell Davies
Children’s opera: choir, orchestra and soloists
Commissioner: The London Symphony Orchestra and Philharmonie Luxembourg within a series of commissions of children’s operas led by Sir Simon Rattle and Simon Halsey
UK premiere: 26 June 2016 by LSO Discovery Choirs, London Symphony Chorus, Guildhall School Semi-Chorus, Simon Halsey (chorus director), David Lawrence, Lucy Griffiths (LSO Discovery Choir conductors), Neil Ferris (Associate Chorus Director), London Symphony Chorus, Guildhall Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Sir Simon Rattle at Barbican Hall, London
For chamber ensemble
Commissioner: The Composer-in-Residence scheme at Khadambi’s House is an LSO Soundhub project. Generous support has been provided by Khadambi Asalache’s partner, Susie Thomson. We are also grateful to the National Trust, a partner in this project.
UK premiere: 11 February 2017 by Ziazan Horrocks-Hopayian - soprano; Tom Norris - violin; Anna Bastow - viola; Rebecca Gilliver - cello; Jani Pensola - double bass; Alex Jakeman - flute; Ausiàs Garrigós Morant - clarinet; Joost Bosdijk - bassoon; Alexander Edmundson - horn; Christopher Deacon - trumpet; Dudley Bright - trombone; Patrick Harrild – tuba conducted by Jon Hargreaves at Jerwood Hall, LSO St Luke’s
The wreck of former boundaries
For two trumpet soloists, B-flat clarinet, alto saxophone, trombone, electric lap steel guitar, double bass, and 5-channel electronics
Commissioner: ELISION Ensemble
UK premiere: 22 November 2016 by ELISION Ensemble, Peter Evans and Tristram Williams at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival
The Temptations of Christ
For choir, soloists, tubular bells and organ
Commissioner: Illuminare Choir
UK premiere: 4 March 2017 at Holy Trinity Church, Sloane Square, London by Illuminare choir, Recital choir of St Paul’s Juniors, Jeremy Cole (organ), George Barton (tubular bells) and soloists Laurence Williams, Hiroshi Amako, Rachel Ambrose Evans, Hilary Cronin, Helen Charlston, Alexander Gebhard and Michael Craddock; conducted by Christopher Stark
Loop Concerto for jazz trio & large ensemble
For jazz trio and large ensemble
UK premiere: 5 February 2017 at Turner Sims, Southampton by Ivo Neame (piano), Jasper Hoiby (bass), Jon Scott (drums), University of Southampton HARTLEY Loop Orchestra and Benjamin Oliver (conductor) as part of 'The Loop Project, a University of Southampton Music Department Performance Project in association with Turner Sims.
For Jazz Quintet and Sinfonietta
Commissioner: Trish Clowes & Emulsion Festival with support from PRS Foundation & private sponsors (Kickstarter)
UK premiere: 27 January 2017 - the Emulsion Festival at MAC Birmingham, hosted by Fiona Talkington performed by Trish Clowes (Tenor Saxophone) Chris Montague (Electric Guitar) Ross Stanley (Hammond Organ) Calum Gourlay (Double Bass) James Maddren (Drum kit) Rachael Lander (Violoncello) Anna Ollson (Violin) Melinda Maxwell (Cor Anglais) Max Welford (Clarinet)
Anything but Bland by Brian Irvine (libretto: John McIlduff)
For orchestra, all female chorus, soloists, video projection and narrator
Commissioner: Northern Ireland Science Festival / Dumbworld
UK premiere: 15 February 2017 at Ulster Hall, Belfast as part of NI Science Festival by the Ulster Orchestra, soloists, Dumbworld choir, OpenArts Community Choir, Codetta and St Keiran’s Girls’ Choir, narrator Aoife Duffin and soloists
For solo instruments with orchestra, horn
Commissioner: Esa-Pekka Salonen for the Philharmonia Orchestra's 70th Anniversary - New York Philharmonic: Alan Gilbert, Music Director - International Festival of Contemporary Music Warsaw Autumn’s 60th Anniversary
UK premiere: 21 February 2017 at The Anvil in Basingstoke by the Philharmonia Orchestra, Richard Watkins, Katy Woolley, Nigel Black, Michael Thompson and Esa-Pekka Salonen
Two Eardley Pictures
Commissioner: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestras of Scotland
UK premiere: August 2016 at the BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall, London by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Thomas Dausgaard (Part 1: Catterline in Winter) and National Youth Orchestra of Scotland conducted by Ilan Volkov (Part 2: Snow)
In Feyre Foreste
For five recorders
Commissioner: Royal Academy of Music
UK premiere: 24 January 2017 in the David Josefowitz Recital hall by Tabea Debus and Historical Performance students from the Royal Academy of Music (Olwen Foulkes, Kristina Greally, Oscar Gormley, Katherine Jones)
For solo violin
Commissioner: Written for Lark Insurance. Commissioned by the London Sinfonietta with funds provide by Lark Insurance for the London Sinfonietta Shorts Series.
UK premiere: Public premiere given on the 16 June 2016 by Jonathan Morton at the Warehouse as part of the 'Through the Lens Exhibition' with the London College of Communication. Written for and dedicated to Daniel Pioro, who gave the private premiere of the work.
Light and Sound installation for outdoor public spaces
Commissioner: Originally commissioned by Kidderminster Arts Festival 2015, with development and sound commissioned by Cryptic 2016
UK premiere: 6 September 2016 at The Globe Inn, Dumfries : installation ran from 7 September to 21 November 2016
4.48 Psychosis by Philip Venables (libretto: Sarah Kane)
A chamber opera in one act : Twelve players: Alto Flute doubling Piccolo- Soprano saxophone, doubling baritone saxophone (audience left)- Soprano saxophone, doubling baritone saxophone (centre) - Soprano saxophone, doubling baritone saxophone (audience right) - Piano doubling Synthesizer, with organ pedalboard, volume pedal, sustain pedal, programme change pedal – Accordion - Percussion (Doctor, audience left) – solo role, some playing from memory (see above)* - Percussion (Patient, audience right) – solo role, some playing from memory (see above)* - Viola (audience left)* - Violin doubling Viola (centre) - Viola (audience right) - Contrabass with C extension
Commissioner: Royal Opera House and Guildhall School of Music and Drama
UK premiere: 23 May 2016 at the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith by the Royal Opera
The Tempest by Sally Beamish (choreographer: David Bintley)
2 flutes (2nd doubling piccolo) - 2 oboes (2nd doubling cor anglais) - 2 clarinets (1st doubling E- clarinet, 2nd doubling bass clarinet) - 2 bassoons (2nd doubling contrabassoon) - 4 horns in F - 2 trumpets in C - 2 tenor trombones – Bass – trombone – Tuba - Timpani (5) - Percussion: side drum, bass drum, suspended cymbal, crash cymbals, tam-tam, triangle, 5 temple blocks, 5 tom toms, sand block, tambourine, bamboos, rain stick, crotales, tubular bells, vibraphone – Harp – Celeste - Strings (min 18.104.22.168.4)
Commissioner: Birmingham Royal Ballet
UK premiere: 30 September 2016 by Birmingham Royal Ballet at the Birmingham Hippodrome
The British Composer Awards promote the art of composition, recognise the creative talent of composers and sound artists, and bring their music to a wider audience. They are unique in making contemporary music, jazz and sonic art the focus of their annual celebration
There are eleven nominated categories recognising works which received their UK premiere performance during the award year. Since 2016, the British Composer Awards also honour composers with awards recognising their contribution to British music. These awards are in the gift of the British Composer Awards Committee; which is a sub-committee of the main BASCA Board.
The 16th British Composer Awards took place on Tuesday 4 December from 5pm to 9.30pm at the British Museum, London.
The British Academy of Songwriters, Composers & Authors (BASCA) is the voice for music writers. We exist to celebrate, support and protect the professional interests of all writers of music.
Whilst we are well known for putting on the British Composer Awards, Gold Badge Awards and Ivor Novello Awards every year, there is far more to us than these events.
We are the independent professional association representing music writers in all genres, from songwriting to media and contemporary classical to jazz.
BASCA campaigns in the UK, Europe and throughout the world to protect copyright and ensure songwriters and composers are paid fairly for their work.
So that we may continue to do this, it is important that we can count the best songwriting and composing talent amongst our members. Our members include Paul McCartney, Annie Lennox, Coldplay, Florence Welch, Dizzee Rascal, Anne Dudley, Guy Garvey, Nitin Sawhney, Gary Barlow, Peter Gabriel, David Arnold, Elton John, Imogen Heap, Orphy Robinson, Kate Bush, The 1975, and many more.
We are entirely self-funding and rely on the continuing support of our members to carry on our work.