Tuesday 5 February 2013

Supporting composers - Sound and Music revives awards and prize

George Butterworth (1885 - 1916)
George Butterworth (1885 - 1916)
It is nice to see that Sound and Music is reviving a pair of awards originally initiated by the SPNM (Society for the Promotion of New Music) which is one of Sound and Music's predecessor organisations. Not only is it good to see the organisation showing a sense of history (something it has rather lacked in recent years), but also both awards will help new composers in all genres. The George Butterworth Prize will be awarded annually and the Francis Chagrin Awards presented three times per year.

The George Butterworth Prize, worth some £1500, will be presented for outstanding new work by a composer participating in one of Sound and Music's programmes, Embed, Portfolio and Adopt a Composer (done in association with Making Music). This year's prize will be selected by a panel made up of Stephen Montague, Zoë Martlew, Howard Skempton, Trevor Wishart, Peter Wiegold and Richard Whitelaw, head of programmes at Sound and Music. It will be awarded to a piece of music created during 2012. Further information from the Sound and Music website.

The George Butterworth Memorial Fund was established in 1921 by the composer’s family together with initial trustees including Ralph Vaughan Williams and George Dyson. It was funded by income from the estate of the composer himself who was tragically killed on the Somme during the First World War, having been awarded the Military Cross.

The Francis Chagrin Awards are named after the composer Francis Chagrin who founded the SPNM. The awards will be presented three times per year and will be worth £500, intended to go towards composer's expenses in disseminating work whether it be photocopying material, copying costs, studio time, purchase of materials integral to the creation of new work or attending a senior level course or masterclass. In our digital age, producing music is a lot easier than when composers had to pay copyists to produce parts, but these things still cost and can be prohibitive to those on low (or no) income. Further information from the Sound and Music website.

'Whatever style you are working in, whatever background you are from, if you are struggling with the costs of composing and disseminating your work, I would urge you to consider an application.' Richard Whitelaw, Sound and Music’s Head of Programmes

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