Entries open for The Ivors Composer Awards

New for 2021 – in response to the pandemic, entries for the Awards can have been premiered in the UK through live streamed concerts and commercial recordings as well as concerts and broadcast performances

The Ivors Composer Awards 2021

The Ivors Academy has opened entries for The Ivors Composer Awards 2021, which recognise creative excellence in composition for contemporary classical, jazz, and sound arts. Each winner receives a coveted Ivor Novello Award, which are widely recognised as a pinnacle of achievement since they were first presented in 1956. An Ivor Novello Award uniquely represents peer recognition and are judged by composers, sound artists and those within the UK classical, jazz and sound art community.

In response to the impact of the pandemic on classical, jazz and sound art performances the Academy has expanded its eligibility definition of UK premiere performance. In addition to live concerts and broadcast performances, music that was played through a live streamed concert performance will also be eligible. Also included are works that appeared on a commercial recording for the first time, where the release is the work’s premiere. 

The Ivors Composer Awards are supported by PRS for Music. The awards presentation is in association with BBC Radio 3, who provide exclusive broadcast coverage of the event. The Ivors Composer Awards will take place in early December 2021 with plans to hold the awards ceremony in London.

Last year’s winners included Jonny Greenwood for ‘Horror Vacui’ in the Large Orchestral category, Renell Shaw for ‘The Vision They Had’ in the Jazz Composition for Small Ensemble category, and sound artist Kathy Hinde for ‘Twittering Machines’. In 2020 three composers received Gift of the Academy Awards - Cecilia McDowall, Yazz Ahmed and Julian Joseph OBE. 


We’re delighted to open entries for The Ivors Composer Awards 2021. It’s a unique moment to recognise outstanding talent and creativity amongst composers working across contemporary classical, jazz and sound arts. An Ivor Novello Award is a special recognition between peers, and I can’t wait to see what incredible works of composition are entered for this year’s awards.

Graham Davies, CEO, The Ivors Academy

The Ivors Composer Awards is an important moment to recognise and celebrate the exceptional work of the classical, jazz and sound art community. PRS for Music is incredibly proud to once again support the awards. We welcome the changes to the qualifying criteria introduced by The Ivors Academy to reflect how the pandemic has changed the musical landscape and creative process. We are looking forward to the award ceremony later this year and honouring the ongoing dedication, craft and vision of all the nominees.

Nigel Elderton, Chair of the PRS Members' Council

Anyone can enter a work for the Awards, including the composer. There is a £10 administration fee per entry, which is waived if the composer is a member of The Ivors Academy. To be eligible composers must be UK born or be ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom.

Each year the awards celebrate new music that was heard for the first time by the UK public. To be eligible for The Ivors Composer Awards 2021 works must have received their first UK performance between 1st April 2020 and 31st March 2021.

Submissions are made through the Academy’s entry website where you can also see the full rules:


  • Monday 17th May, Entries open 
  • Thursday 18th June, Entries close
  • Early November, Nominations announced
  • Early December, Winners announced

For more information visit or follow @IvorsAcademy #TheIvorsComposerAwards

About PRS for Music

Here for music since 1914, PRS for Music is a world-leading music collective management organisation representing the rights of more than 175,000 talented songwriters, composers and music publishers. Redefining the global standard for music royalties, PRS for Music ensures songwriters and composers are paid whenever their musical compositions and songs are streamed, downloaded, broadcast, performed and played in public. 

For 110 years it has grown and protected the rights of the music creator community, paying out royalties with more accuracy, transparency and speed. In 2023, PRS for Music paid out £943.6m in royalties and collected a record £1.08 billion in revenues.

About The Ivors Academy

The Ivors Academy is the UK’s independent professional association for music creators. We represent and champion a diverse, talented community of songwriters and composers. We are a self-funded not-for-profit organisation, relying on the continued support of our members and partners to carry on our work. 

Our Ivor Novello Awards are the ultimate accolade for songwriting and composition in the industry. The Ivors with Apple Music celebrate the talents of songwriters and screen composers, and The Ivors Composer Awards recognise music creators in the classical, jazz and sound art fields. 

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