Wednesday 3 December 2014

Nine first time winners revealed at the British Composer Awards 2014

Kerry Andrew at British Composer Awards - photo credit Mark Allan
Kerry Andrew at British Composer Awards
photo credit Mark Allan
The winners of the 2014 British Composer Awards were announced last night by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) in a ceremony at London’s Goldsmiths' Hall. Dame Evelyn Glennie presented the Awards. There were nine first time winners and Kerry Andrew received two awards.

The first time winners were Django Bates, Steve Forman, Ed Hughes, Martin Iddon, Cecilia McDowall, Kaija Saariaho, Rebecca Saunders, Mark-Anthony Turnage and Tom White. Kerry Andrew took away two Awards winning with Woodwose: A Community Chamber Opera in the Community or Educational Project category and Dart's Love in the Stage Works category. Sir Harrison Birtwistle won his sixth British Composer Award for Songs from the same Earth in the Vocal category; he has become the most shortlisted and winning composer in BCA history. Simon Dobson, who won the Wind Band or Brass Band category in 2012 was again the winner of this category with Journey of the Lone Wolf for brass band and Percussion which was premiered by Black Dyke Mills Band as part of the RNCM's Festival of Brass.

The Choral award went to Cecilia McDowall for Night Flight which marked the centenary Harriet Quimby, the first woman to fly successfully across the English Channel. Ed Hughes won the Liturgical category with Chaconne for Jonathan Harvey for solo organ, written in memory of Jonathan Harvey whom Hughes assisted on his final choral composition in summer 2012.

The winner of the Chamber category was Martin Iddon with Danaë which received its UK premiere performance at the Roca Gallery, London, performed by the Distractfold Ensemble. In the Orchestral category the winner was Mark-Anthony Turnage for Frieze, a joint commission from BBC Radio 3, the Royal Philharmonic Society and the New York Philharmonic in celebration of the bicentenary of the Royal Philharmonic Society. The work was a 60th birthday present to Turnage's teacher Oliver Knussen.

The Contemporary Jazz Composition award went to Django Bates' for The Study of Touch, written for the Grammy-nominated Norrbotten Big Band from northern Sweden who gave the UK premiere at the BBC Proms with Bates' own Belovèd Trio.

Rebecca Saunders' Solitude for Solo Cello won the Instrumental Solo or Duo category, and is the product of a 4 year collaboration between the composer and the cellist Séverine Ballon. The Making Music Award, voted for by members of Making Music, was won by Steve Forman with Loch Awe. The International Award was won by Kaija Saariaho with Circle Map. Tom White's Public Address was the winner of the Sonic Art category.

BBC Radio 3 will broadcast the awards in Hear and Now at 10.00pm on Saturday 6 December 2014.
2014 British Composer Awards - Winners List

Instrumental Solo or Duo
Solitude: Rebecca Saunders

Danaё: Martin Iddon

Songs from the same Earth: Harrison Birtwistle

Night Flight: Cecilia McDowall

Wind Band or Brass Band
Journey of the Lone Wolf: Simon Dobson

Frieze: Mark-Anthony Turnage

Stage Works
Dart’s Love: Kerry Andrew

Chaconne for Jonathan Harvey: Ed Hughes

Sonic Art
Public Address: Tom White

Contemporary Jazz Composition
The Study of Touch: Django Bates

Community or Educational Project
Woodwose: A Community Chamber Opera: Kerry Andrew

Making Music Award
Loch Awe: Steve Forman

International Award
Circle Map: Kaija Saariaho

Elsewhere on this blog:

  • Aurally and visually arresting: John Adams The Gospel According to the Other Mary - opera review
  • Revitalising an old tradition: New Stabat Mater settings from the Sixteen - CD review
  • An operatic Game of Thrones? Lully's Amadis from Les Talens Lyriques - CD review
  • Speaking & singing: Shadwell Opera explores boundaries between spoken and sung - concert review
  • Virtuoso & Romantic: Academy of St Martin in the Fields plays Howard Blake - concert review
  • Cello with zing: Sonatas by Boccherini and Cirri - CD review
  • Naive charm & delight: Weber's Oberon - opera review
  • American Masters: Anne Akiko Meyers in Bates, Corigliano and Barber - CD review
  • Text-based drama: Handel's Jephtha from The Sixteen - CD review
  • Early baroque polyphony: The Sixteen at Temple Church - concert review
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