In 2003, The Ivors Academy (then known as BASCA) created the British Composer Awards, to bring contemporary classical, jazz and sound art to a wider audience through a peer-recognition awards event. Together with our sponsor, PRS for Music, and in association with BBC Radio 3, for seventeen years we have continued to celebrate exceptional creative talent in these genres and to promote the art of composition.
In 2019, alongside the Academy’s rebrand, the British Composer Awards became The Ivors Composer Awards. This change brought the Academy’s celebration of classical, jazz and sound art into its annual presentation of Ivor Novello Awards.
In 2023, The Ivors Academy re-launched The Ivors Composer Awards as The Ivors Classical Awards to celebrate creative excellence in composition for contemporary classical and sound art. In a change from The Ivors Composer Awards, Irish as well as British composers are eligible for consideration and publishers will also receive greater recognition. From 2023 a UK music publisher will receive a nomination credit where they own or control the copyright for a nominated piece.
The Academy is seeking to establish The Ivors Jazz Awards in 2024 as part of a programme of awards and recognition to celebrate composers and songwriters.
An Ivor Novello Award is the most prestigious peer-recognition award in songwriting and composition. The statuette is a representation of Euterpe, the Greek muse of music and lyric poetry. It was designed by Hazel Underwood, an undergraduate of St Martin’s School of Art in London, in 1955. To this day it is still cast in solid bronze and weighs just over 7lbs.
Since 1956 the Academy has presented Ivor Novello Awards to shine a spotlight on the talent of music creators. Since 2019 Ivor Novello Awards have been presented at The Ivors Composer Awards to recognise exceptional UK composers across classical, jazz and sound arts.