Friday, 26 October 2012

British Composer Awards shortlist

British Composer Awards
The short-list for this year's British Composer Awards has been announced. Sir Harrison Birtwistle gets two mentions, for his Angel Fighter in the vocal category (premiered by the BBC Singers and David Hill, with Andrew Watts and Jeffrey Lloyd Roberts at the Cadogan Hall) and his Violin Concerto in the orchestral category (commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra for Christian Tezlaff). Jonathan Harvey's The Annunciation is in the liturgical category along with Cecilia MacDowell's The Lord is Good and Frances Grier's Missa Brevis. The other entries in the vocal category are Joe Cutler (Chanticleer and the Opera Fox for the Roald Dahl Museum) and Colin Matthews (No Man's Land for Ian Bostridge, Roderick Williams and the City of London Sinfonia under Stephen Layton), the others in the orchestral are Julian Anderson (The Discovery of Heaven premiered by the London Philharmonic) and Rebecca Saunders (Still for Carolin Widmann and the BBC Symphony Orchestra). Thomas Ades crops up in the chamber music category with The Four Quarters (for the Emerson String Quartet).


The stage category has Jocelyn Pook's DESH (commissioned by the Akram Khan Company for their multi-media dance production), Gavin Higgins' What Wild Ecstasy (commissioned by the Rambert Dance Company) and James MacMillan's perfectly wonderful Clemency (premiered at Covent Garden's Linbury Studio). As with last year, it is disappointing that there is only one operatic work on the list, though thank goodness there isn't a musical there this year. Its a few years since the BCA awards featured a large-scale opera here, are the ones being produced not up to scratch?

The choral works are Gabriel Jackson's Airplane Cantata (BBC Singers again!), John Casken's The Knights Stone (premiered by the Northern Sinfonia Chorus) and Jonathan Dove's Two Sonnets (commissioned and premiered by the Gabrieli Consort and Players).

Scanning over the remainder of the list, its nice to see Emily Howard in the Making Music Award category, Spitalfield Music's project with John Barber is in the Community category.

Full details at the British Composer Awards website.

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