British Composer Awards

Nominees announced for British Composer Awards 2018

Emily Peasgood, Rebecca Saunders and Conall Gleeson are among the nominees announced for the British Composer Awards 2018.

  • By Lucy Doyle
  • 1 Nov 2018
  • min read
Emily Peasgood, Rebecca Saunders and Conall Gleeson are among the nominees announced for the British Composer Awards 2018.

A total of 37 of Britain’s contemporary composers are nominated across 12 categories including orchestral, jazz, sonic art, chamber ensemble, stage works and wind or brass band.

Composers aged under 40 represent over half of nominees, while the works also highlight the diversity and vibrancy of contemporary composition in the UK, giving a voice to disenfranchised groups in society.

Nominees include a work by Conall Gleeson, composed and performed by an orchestra in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, an opera reviving forgotten music by history’s overlooked female composers (Tom Green) and music composed for disabled performers (Oliver Searle; Liam Taylor-West).

Over half (51 percent) of the composers this year are first-time nominees. They are joined by world-renowned nominees Julian Anderson, Harrison Birtwistle, James Dillon, Oliver Knussen, Roxanna Panufnik and Judith Weir.

The awards are presented by British Academy of Songwriters, Composers & Authors (BASCA) and sponsored by PRS for Music. This year saw a record-breaking number of entries with over 560 submissions, while all categories were judged anonymously for the first time.

Crispin Hunt, chair at BASCA, said: ‘BASCA is delighted to celebrate the breadth of works for the British Composer Awards, representing a wealth of UK talent. As ever, it’s hugely exciting and inspiring to see the fresh passion represented by our first-time nominees. Congratulations to everyone nominated today.'

Nigel Elderton, chair at PRS for Music, added: 'I am delighted for PRS for Music to once again be supporting the British Composer Awards, with its impeccable record of recognising the best contemporary classical works.

'It is inspiring to see that over half of this year’s nominated composers are aged under 40 and first-time nominees, showing that the UK classical music landscape is truly continuing to flourish. Congratulations to you all and I look forward to celebrating with you at the ceremony in December.'

The winners will be announced at a ceremony at the British Museum on 4 December 2018.

See below for the full list of nominees:

Amateur or Young Performers
Fiery Tales by Richard Bullen
Microscopic Dances by Oliver Searle
The Caretaker’s Guide to the Orchestra by Jeremy Holland-Smith

Chamber Ensemble
Libro di fiammelle e ombre by James Weeks
O Hototogisu! by Oliver Knussen
Tanz/haus : triptych 2017 by James Dillon

In the Land of Uz by Judith Weir
Mielo by Raymond Yiu
Unending Love by Roxanna Panufnik

Community or Educational Project
Solace by Conall Gleeson
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner: a retelling for our times by Dee Isaacs
The Umbrella by Liam Taylor-West

Jazz Composition for Large Ensemble
Afronaut by Cassie Kinoshi
Rituals by Matt London
Time by Finlay Panter

Jazz Composition for Small Ensemble
Close to Ecstasy by Simon Lasky
Vegetarians by Ivo Neame
You’ve Got to Play the Game by Johnny Richards

Deep Time by Harrison Birtwistle
Recorder Concerto by Graham Fitkin
The Imaginary Museum by Julian Anderson

Small Chamber
Chant by Charlotte Bray
Lines Between by Robert Laidlow
Unbreathed by Rebecca Saunders

Solo or Duo
A Damned Mob of Scribbling Women by Laura Bowler
Belmont Chill by William Marsey
The Harmonic Canon by Dominic Murcott

Sonic Art
Halfway to Heaven by Emily Peasgood
The Otheroom by Rolf Wallin
Two Machines by Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian and Hugh Jones as ‘Crewdson & Cevanne’

Stage Works
Shorelines by Oliver Coates
The Exterminating Angel by Thomas Adès
The World’s Wife by Tom Green

Wind Band or Brass Band
Dark Arteries Suite by Gavin Higgins
Mindscapes by Lucy Pankhurst
The Turing Test by Simon Dobson