The 15th British Composer Awards took place on Wednesday 6 December 2017 at the British Museum. It was another fantastic evening as we celebrated the creative talent of British composers and sound artists.
Following the ceremony, guests were invited to a drinks reception and bowl food.
15th British Composer Awards
5pm – 9.30pm, Wednesday 6 December 2017
British Museum, London
- Wednesday 24 May 2017 – Call for entries open
- Tuesday 4 July 2017 – Deadline for entries
- WK 21 August 2017 – Judging period begins
- Wednesday 25 October 2017 – Nominations announced
- October 2017 – Tickets on sale to attend the ceremony
- Wednesday 6 December 2017 – The 15th British Composer Awards
- Sunday 10 December 2017 – Broadcast of the ceremony on BBC Radio 3
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
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
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)
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
Karembeu's Guide to the Complete Defensive Midfielder
For saxophone and drums, soprano saxophone, trumpet, violin, cor anglais, electric guitar, bass clarinet, violoncello, double bass and jazz organ
Commissioner: Cheltenham Music Festival
UK premiere: 4 July 2015 at Parabola Arts Centre, Cheltenham
Located on the train journey between London St Pancras and Margate offering sounds and voices for the otherwise silent view from the train
Commissioner: Curated and produced by Electra in partnership with Turner Contemporary and the British Library
UK premiere: 20 June 2015 and then exhibited at the Turner Contemporary
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 15th British Composer Awards took place on Wednesday 6 December from 5pm to 9.30pm at the British Museum, London.
The British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) is the voice for music writers; the independent professional association representing music writers in all genres, from songwriting, through to media, contemporary classical and jazz and can trace our history back over 70 years.
Whilst we are well known for putting on the British Composer Awards, the Gold Badge Awards and The Ivors every year, there is far more to us than these events. BASCA campaigns in the UK, Europe and throughout the world in order to protect the professional interests of our members. We count on the best songwriting and composing talent in order to do this important work and are entirely self-funding, relying on the continuing support of our members, who include Paul McCartney, Dizzee Rascal, Michael Nyman, Gary Barlow, David Arnold, Elton John, Imogen Heap, Howard Goodall, John Powell, Kate Bush, Chris Martin, and many more.
To find out more about membership visit www.basca.org.uk