The Ivors Classical Awards 2023 took place in central London last night (14 November), with 11 composers taking home Ivor Novello Awards.
The ceremony, which was sponsored by PRS for Music, was hosted by BBC Radio 3’s Hannah Peel and Tom Service at the British Film Institute in the capital.
Among the winners last night were three composers who were honoured with special Gift of the Academy awards. John Rutter CBE was honoured with a Fellowship of The Ivors Academy — joining the esteemed likes of Kate Bush CBE, Sir Elton John and Sir Paul McCartney as an Ivors Academy Fellow — while Tansy Davies was presented with an Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Works Collection.
Composer Matthew Herbert, meanwhile, received an Ivor Novello Award for Innovation (presented in association with the Musicians’ Union). Speaking to M about the honour, Matthew said: 'I feel lucky, and it's a privilege to receive something like this. It's nice to even be put forward for an award like this, because I don't really fit in anywhere [as an artist]. I do dance music, but I'm not a full-time dance/electronic producer. I write film scores, but I'm not a full-time film composer, same with TV. I write classical work, I do installations and set up award ceremonies — there's a whole variety of different things that I do, and I don't quite fit in any of them.
'I'm 51 now, so it's nice, after 30 years of doing it, to get an award like this.'
You can see the full list of winners from last night's Ivors Classical Awards 2023 below.
Best Chamber Ensemble Composition
Thomas Adès for Növények
Best Choral Composition
Ben Nobuto for Sol
Best Community and Participation Composition in association with ABRSM
Dobrinka Tabakova for Swarm Fanfares
Best Large Ensemble Composition
Hannah Kendall for Shouting Forever Into The Receiver
Best Orchestral Composition
Brett Dean for Cello Concerto
Best Small Chamber Composition
Josephine Stephenson for Comme L’espoir / You Might All Disappear
Best Sound Art
Olivia Louvel for Lol
Best Stage Work
Brian Irvine for Least Like The Other: Searching For Rosemary Kennedy
Outstanding Works Collection
Innovation Award in association with The Musicians’ Union
Speaking about the winners, Andrea Czapary Martin, CEO of PRS for Music, said: 'Congratulations to all the winners on receiving an Ivor Novello Award: the calibre of your works is nothing short of inspiring brilliance. I am delighted to see that five of the winners have been supported by PRS Foundation throughout their career, including Comme L’espoir / You Might All Disappear composed by Josephine Stephenson which was directly funded by the Open Fund for Music Creators. My congratulations also to John Rutter, Tansy Davies and Matthew Herbert on your special Gift of the Academy awards.'
Tom Gray, Chair of The Ivors Academy, added: ‘I would like to congratulate all our winners for their extraordinary accomplishments. Tonight, we celebrated the vibrancy of composing for classical music and sound art in the UK and Ireland. It is so important that we must advocate more determinedly than ever for its future.
'2024 marks our 80th anniversary: we formed as the Composers Guild of Great Britain in 1944 with Ralf Vaughan Williams as our first President. In our anniversary year, we will increase our campaigning and lobbying for the value of new music and the arts, so they are thriving everywhere for everyone.’
BBC Radio 3 will broadcast the ceremony on Saturday (18 November) in a special edition of the New Music Show. The episode will also be available on BBC Sounds.