Wednesday 24 January 2024

NMC Recordings celebrates 35 years of supporting composers

Imogen Holst and Colin Matthews in 1984
Imogen Holst and Colin Matthews in 1984
2024 sees NMC celebrating its 35th birthday with a release schedule that continues to do what the label was founded to, supporting composers. 2024 will see new debut albums from Freya Waley-Cohen, Tom Coult, Lisa Illean, and Richard Baker, partnership projects with National Youth Choir and Philharmonia, and new collaboration with Drake Music Scotland, the Disabled Artist Network and Tŷ Cerdd.

NMC will also be recording a new album of Imogen Holst's previously unreleased works, performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra and the BBC Singers, conducted by Alice Farnham. And on 3 July 2024, NMC joins forces with Spitalfields Festival for a special birthday concert celebrating 35 years of NMC.

Composer Colin Matthews founded NMC in 1989 to remedy the almost non-existent representation of living British composers in the recording catalogues of major labels at the time. NMC’s work supporting the rich breadth of compositional talent from Britain and Ireland means that its catalogue has now grown to hold more than 300 albums.

But the label likely would not have come about without the support of Imogen Holst. Colin Matthews set up the Holst Foundation with Imogen Holst shortly before her death in 1984. She made it clear to him that the foundation's future role should not be to subsidise her father’s music. Instead she envisaged it as a means to support the work of living composers. She and Colin Matthews talked extensively about funding recordings and though NMC did not come about until five years after her death, Matthews always knew that label was founded with her blessing, and that she would have approved wholeheartedly of what has been accomplished since 1989.

Further information from the NMC website.

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