Out of the Shadows

Wednesday, 24 August 2022

Britain's only dedicated awards celebrating creative excellence by UK classical composers

Sarah Rodgers, David Bedford and Roger Wright at the British Composer Awards 2003
Sarah Rodgers, David Bedford and Roger Wright at the British Composer Awards 2003
Britain's only dedicated awards celebrating creative excellence by UK classical composers is celebrating the 20th edition of the awards, which takes place in November this year. Founded in 2003 as the British Composer Awards and now called the Ivors Composer Awards, the awards were created by BASCA (now the Ivors Academy) to celebrate the talent and innovation demonstrated by living composers in this country. The awards built on BASCA's legacy of presenting the Ivor Novello Awards (which started in 1957).

In 2019, BASCA became The Ivors Academy and the awards were renamed The Ivors Composer Awards, bringing them alongside the Ivor Novello Awards.

Since their founding, the awards have seen over 700 works by over 350 composers being nominated, and nearly 240 awards being presented. The first awards were presented in December 2003 when notable winners included Helen Grime, Jocelyn Pook, James Dillon and the late Jonathan Harvey. The most recognised composer is the late Sir Harrison Birtwistle who collected eight awards and composed a further eight nominated works. Judith Bingham, who celebrated her 70th birthday earlier this year, is the second most honoured with four awards and a further five nominations. Closely followed by Julian Anderson with four awards and four nominations. Rebecca Saunders, Kerry Andrew and Michael Finnissy have also received four awards since 2003.

The 20th Ivors Composer Awards take place on Tuesday 15 November at the British Museum in London. Sponsored by PRS for Music, the awards ceremony is in association with BBC Radio 3 who will broadcast an exclusive edition of the New Music Show dedicated to the awards on Saturday 18 November from 10pm.

Full details from The Ivors Academy website.

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