Thursday 23 October 2014

Shortlist announced for British Composer Awards

Jon Opstad - photo Hannah Opstad
Jon Opstad (Stage Works category)
photo Hannah Opstad
The British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) has published the 35 works shortlisted for the 2014 British Composer Awards. The winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Goldsmiths’ Hall, London on Tuesday 2 December 2014. There will be a chance to hear some of them when BBC Radio 3’s Hear and Now broadcasts the event at 10pm on Saturday 6 December. The keynote speaker for the evening will be Dame Evelyn Glennie who will also present the Awards.

Over 300 works were submitted by over 250 composers (either British or UK resident, except for the International category). The short list has 35 works by 32 composers from those in their twenties up to one centenarian (the late Elliot Carter in the International category). Three composers were shortlisted twice this year: Kerry Andrew, Harrison Birtwistle and John McCabe. Kerry Andrew for Woodwose: A Community Opera in the Community or Educational Project category (see our review) and Dart's Love in the Stage Works category (see my review from 2013). Harrison Birtwistle has been shortlisted Songs from the same Earth (Vocal category) and for The Moth Requiem (Choral category). John McCabe for his Sonata after William Byrd's Haec Dies (Instrumental Solo or Duo category) and Joybox (Orchestral category).

Samuel Bordoli - photo Bill Bankes-Jones
Samuel Bordoli (Choral category)
photo Bill Bankes-Jones
The nine composers are on the shortlist for the first time include the two youngest (both in their 20's), Samuel Bordoli for Live Music Sculpture 3 (Choral) and Tom White for Public Address (Sonic Art). The other composers to be shortlisted for the first time are Jon Opstad for IGNIS (Stage Works), Martin Iddon with Danaë (Chamber), David Fennessy for Hauptstimme (Chamber), Christopher Trapani with Visions and Revisions (International Award) as well as all three composers in the Contemporary Jazz Composition category: Julian Argüelles with Hocus Pocus, John Butcher with Tarab Cuts and Django Bates with The Study of Touch.

Lynne Plowman - photo Neil Bennett
Lynne Plowman (Stage Works category)
photo Neil Bennett
The Stage Works category contains two chamber operas and one contemporary dance piece;, Captain Blood’s Revenge by Lynne Plowman, Dart’s Love by Kerry Andrew, and IGNIS by Jon Opstad. Captain Blood's Revenge (A Pirate Opera) by Lynne Plowman was commissioned by Glyndebourne in co-production with Brighton Festival and is notable for being written specifically for children aged 7-9. Dart's Love was commissioned by Tête à Tête and the initial inspiration came from Andrew's love of wild swimming. The story, with libretto by Tamsin Collison, is inspired by the legend of the River Dart and floods in the South West in 2012/13.

Other names to note include Judith Weir (The Wild Reeds in Instrumental Solo or Duo), Cecilia McDowall (Night Flight in Choral), Helen Grime (Near Midnight in Orchestral), Paul Ayres (Hodie nobis de coelo pax in Liturgical), and Jonathan Dove (The Portsmouth Service in Liturgical).

2014 British Composer Awards Shortlist
Instrumental Solo or Duo
Solitude by Rebecca Saunders
Sonata after William Byrd’s Haec Dies by John McCabe
The Wild Reeds by Judith Weir

Danae by Martin Iddon
Hauptstimme by David Fennessy Renewal by Luke Bedford

Flodden by Sally Beamish
Songs from the same Earth by Harrison Birtwistle
Totentanz by Thomas Adès

Live Music Sculpture 3 by Samuel Bordoli
Night Flight by Cecilia McDowall
The Moth Requiem by Harrison Birtwistle

Wind Band or Brass Band
Journey of the Lone Wolf by Simon Dobson
Kjeden by Paul McGhee
Th’owfen Raconteurs by Lucy Pankhurst

Frieze by Mark-Anthony Turnage
Joybox by John McCabe
Near Midnight by Helen Grime

Stage Works
Captain Blood’s Revenge by Lynne Plowman
Dart’s Love by Kerry Andrew
IGNIS by Jon Opstad

Chaconne for Jonathan Harvey by Ed Hughes
Hodie nobis de coelo pax by Paul Ayres
The Portsmouth Service by Jonathan Dove

Sonic Art
Chorus by Ray Lee
On Air by Caroline Devine
Public Address by Tom White

Contemporary Jazz Composition
Hocus Pocus by Julian Argüelles
Tarab Cuts by John Butcher
The Study of Touch by Django Bates

Community or Educational Project
Dark Clouds are Smouldering into Red by James Redwood
Woodwose: A Community Chamber Opera by Kerry Andrew

Making Music Award – to be announced at the ceremony

International Award
Circle Map by Kaija Saariaho
Epigrams by Elliot Carter
Visions and Revisions by Christopher Trapani

Elsewhere on this blog:

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