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The Ivors Composer Awards

The Ivors Composer Awards is the UK's foremost celebration of creative excellence in contemporary classical and jazz composition and sound arts.

Winners announced on 8 December 2021

Celebrating the best new works by composers writing for classical, jazz and sound art in the UK

The winners of The Ivors Composer Awards will be announced at an awards ceremony on Wednesday 8 December at the British Museum in London.

Each winner will receive an Ivor Novello Award. Recognised as a pinnacle of achievement since they were first presented in 1956, an Ivor represents peer recognition as they are judged by fellow composers and music creators.

The nominations were announced on 10 November across six categories. 40% of the composers in the running for an Ivor Novello Award this year are first-time nominees.

In addition to the six categories, four Gift of the Academy Awards will be presented at the awards ceremony including Ivor Novello Awards for Innovation, Outstanding Works Collection, Impact and a Visionary Award.

The Ivors Composer Awards are sponsored by PRS for Music. The awards presentation is in association with BBC Radio 3, who provide exclusive broadcast coverage.

2021 Awards Presentation

The 19th edition of The Ivors Composer Awards returns to the British Museum, London on Wednesday 8 December, hosted by BBC Radio 3's Sara Mohr-Pietsch and Tom Service.

  • Date
  • Time
    18:15 - 22:30
  • Address
    British Museum, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG
    view on maps

2021 Nominations

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Nominee

BYE

Composed by Alex Paxton
for small jazz ensemble and improviser
10 mins

listen on SoundCloud

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Nominee

CORNCRACK DREAMS

Composed by Alex Paxton
for trombone, keyboard and drums
2 mins
commissioned by Nevis Ensemble and North Uist Distillery

listen on Apple Music

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Nominee

DREAMS

Composed by Brigitte Beraha and Dave Manington
for jazz sextet
9 mins

listen on Apple Music

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Nominee

THE CAGED BIRD

Composed by Nikki Iles
for jazz band
9 mins
commissioned by The International Society of Jazz Arrangers and Composers

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Nominee

THE RISE OF THE LIZARD PEOPLE

Composed by Ivo Neame
for jazz orchestra
6 mins

listen on Apple Music

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Nominee

CATAMORPHOSIS

Composed by Anna Thorvaldsdottir
for orchestra
20 mins
commissioned by Stiftung Berliner Philharmoniker, New York Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Iceland Symphony Orchestra

watch an excerpt on YouTube
for more information and to order the score visit Wise Music Classical

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Nominee

DEMOCRACY DANCES

Composed by Conor Mitchell
for symphony orchestra
13 mins
commissioned by Oh Yeah Music Centre, Belfast (with the Belfast Ensemble)

watch on YouTube

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Nominee

KAAMOS

Composed by Lara Poe
for orchestra
11 mins
commissioned by Lahti Symphony Orchestra

listen on SoundCloud

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Nominee

PHARMAKEIA

Composed by James Dillon
for 16 players
52 mins
commissioned by London Sinfonietta and Ensemble Intercontemporain with support from the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation

watch on YouTube
for more information and to order the score visit Edition Peters

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Nominee

THIS DEPARTING LANDSCAPE

Composed by Martin Suckling
for orchestra
20 mins
commissioned by BBC Radio 3

listen on Apple Music
for more information and to order the score visit Faber Music

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Nominee

A FIELD GUIDE TO PEBBLES

Composed by Lynne Plowman
for percussion duo
11 mins
funded by Arts Council of Wales

listen on Apple Music
for more information and to order the score visit Composers Edition

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Nominee

NIGHTINGALES: ULTRA-DEEP FIELD

Composed by Tansy Davies
for string quartet
17 mins
commissioned by Stiftung Berliner Philharmoniker, Southbank Centre, London and Arditti Quartet, with the support of the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation

for more information and to order the score visit Faber Music

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Nominee

SOMETIMES VOICES

Composed by Alex Paxton
for keyboard and drums
10 mins
commissioned by Hyper Duo

watch on YouTube
listen on Apple Music

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Nominee

STILL LIFE

Composed by Stephen Goss
for cello and guitar
15 mins
commissioned by Patterson/Sutton duo through the Clyfford Still Museum, Denver, CO, USA

listen on Apple Music

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Nominee

WICKED PROBLEMS

Composed by Laura Bowler
for voice and bass flute with fixed tape
9 mins
commissioned by Sound Festival with the support of PRSF Beyond Borders

listen on SoundCloud
watch on YouTube

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Nominee

‘ECHO THE ANGELUS’

Composed by James Dillon
for piano
26 mins

for more information and to order the score visit Edition Peters

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Nominee

FADING SPELLSPHERE

Composed by Ben Gaunt
for piano
4 mins

watch on YouTube

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Nominee

LAMPADES

Composed by Martin Iddon
for tuba and fixed media
30 mins
commissioned by Jack Adler-McKean

watch on YouTube

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Nominee

LINEAR CONSTRUCTION (NO. 5)

Composed by Alex Groves
for cello
4 mins

listen on Apple Music

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Nominee

NO ONE

Composed by Robin Haigh
for harp
10 mins
commissioned by Presteigne Festival and Royal Philharmonic Society

watch on YouTube

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Nominee

FIRE PREVENTION OR HOW TO SING A LABYRINTH OR THE REBEING AND THE BURNING OF THE LABYRINTH

Composed by Nwando Ebizie
for piano, voice and electronics with field recordings
38 mins
commissioned by Radiophrenia and Supernormal Festival

listen on SoundCloud
An experimental listening journey for static listener inspired by Borgesian labyrinths. A ritual for the artist and the listener. The piece incorporates binaural field recordings, interviews, piano, sampling, poetry, storytelling. It is an attempt to create a phenomenological labyrinth in audio form.

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Nominee

LONDON 26 AND 28 MARCH 2020: IMITATION: INVERSION

Composed by Caroline Kraabel
for baritone, alto and sopranino saxophones, double bass and film
39 mins

The film started as 40 minutes of shots of London during the first UK Covid 19 Lockdown (the strict phase of which began on 23 March 2020). These were taken on my phone during permitted exercise (cycling).

The shots from 26 March are “imitated”. On the alto saxophone I have recreated and recorded as many as possible of the original sounds from the (poor-quality) audio on my phone-shots, and thus replaced the original audio.
The shots from 28 March replace the original audio, too, but are “inverted”. I wanted to make a soundtrack that was in some definable way the OPPOSITE of the actual sounds recorded on my phone.

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Nominee

NOCTURNAL INSIGHTS

Composed by Nikki Sheth
field recordings of crepuscular and nocturnal wildlife in the UK
6 mins
commissioned by Land Lines Project

listen on SoundCloud
This soundscape piece reveals the hidden sounds of nocturnal wildlife in the UK in order to bring a wider awareness of environmental sound and to preserve and archive sounds of the natural world before they disappear.

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Nominee

THE CUCKMERE SOUNDWALK

Composed by Ed Hughes
for chamber orchestra
30 mins

listen on Apple Music
The Cuckmere Soundwalk was launched in September 2020 by the composer for the ECHOES interactive soundwalks App. This App uses geo-location to enable users to enjoy site-specific walking experiences with immersive sound and music. Cuckmere Haven is an area of flood plains in Sussex, where the river Cuckmere meets the English Channel. Its location is between the coastal towns of Seaford and Eastbourne.

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Nominee

WAVES OF RESISTANCE (RADIO ART WITHOUT BORDERS)

Composed by Magz Hall
for WASP synth and location recordings from the Irish Sea and Canterbury Garden
11 mins
commissioned for the Aerial/Sparks Arts Trail on Innis Orr
curated by Louise Manifold for Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture 2020
funded by the Irish Arts Council and The Irish Marine Institute

A radiophonic work that considers how radio helps us with forced isolation, and how visible and invisible boundaries can be broken via radio waves as an act of resistance.

listen on SoundCloud

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Nominee

BARUCH – TEN PROPOSITIONS OF BARUCH SPINOZA FOR TENOR AND PIANO

Composed by Michael Zev Gordon
for tenor and piano
21 mins
commissioned by Oxford Lieder Festival

listen on SoundCloud
for more information and to order the score visit Composers Edition

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Nominee

GYÖKÉR (ROOT)

Composed by Thomas Adès
for mezzo-soprano and four percussionists
4 mins
commissioned by Oliver Zeffman

listen on Apple Music
watch an extract on YouTube

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Nominee

NEVER TO FORGET

Composed by Howard Goodall
for SATB choir and small orchestra
8 mins
commissioned by London Symphony Chorus

watch on YouTube
for more information and to order the score visit Faber Music

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Nominee

THINKING I HEAR THEE CALL

Composed by Cheryl Frances-Hoad
for soprano, speaker and electronics
5 mins
commissioned by Electric Voice Theatre

listen on SoundCloud

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Nominee

VIDI AQUAM

Composed by James MacMillan
for 40 a cappella voices, split into 8 SSATB choirs
9 mins
commissioned by ORA Singers

listen on Apple Music
for more information and to order the score visit Boosey & Hawkes

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DELVE INTO THE 2021 NOMINATIONS

Bringing together music nominated in 2021 this playlist on Apple Music highlights those works available as commercial recordings.

Latest Awards Snaps View all

🙏 @prsformusic for hosting a fabulous after #TheIvors party this #IvorsWeek

@michelleescoffery is🔥🔥🔥
...

😍Rising Star nominee Kamal. looking so fresh at today’s brunch for #TheIvors nominees and winners.

Another event to celebrate songwriters this #IvorsWeek
...

All the best bits from #TheIvors red carpet arrivals 🤩 ...

The 2021 Ivors Inspiration Award winners, @goldfrappmusic 💫

#TheIvors #IvorNovelloAward #AlisonGoldfrapp #WillGregory #Goldfrapp
...

Composer @garethcoker tells us about the creative process behind his beautiful (and now Ivor Novello Award winning!) score for @orithegame 💜🖤💙

#TheIvors
...

Our amazing -25 board directors Hope and Imongen carrying on #TheIvors celebrations at the @prsformusic afterparty ...

@barneylister and @obongjayar win at The Ivors 🎉

Congrats to the pair who have won Best Song Musically and Lyrically with their incredible song God’s Own Children 🏆

#TheIvors #IvorNovelloAward #BarneyLister #Obongjayar #GodsOwnChildren
...

“It was such a fun songwriting experience” 🎼🎶

Ivor Novello Award winner @amyallen tells us what it was like to write Adore You with @tylersamj @kidharpoon and @harrystyles

#TheIvors #IvorNovelloAward #AmyAllen #TylerJohnson #KidHarpoon #HarryStyles #AdoreYou
...

It’s the legendary @tearsforfearsmusic, fresh from scooping the Ivor Novello Award for Ourstanding Song Collection

#TheIvors
...

💗 Rising Star winners 2021 and 2020 @willowkayne and @mmmmysie

#TheIvors
...

💛 Congratulations to the brilliant @liannelahavas who picks up an Ivor Novello Award for Best Album.

#TheIvors
...

Special International Award winner @jonbonjovi couldn't attend the ceremony, but he did send us this 💌😭

#TheIvors #JonBonJovi #BonJovi
...

🎶🌍 SPECIAL INTERNATIONAL AWARD with @applemusic 🌍🎶

@jonbonjovi and @therealsambora @bonjovi
#TheIvors #IvorNovelloAward #JonBonJovi #RichieSambora #BonJovi
...

💫💿 The Ivors OUTSTANDING SONG COLLECTION 💿💫
Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith @tearsforfearsmusic
#TheIvors #IvorNovelloAward #RolandOrzabal #CurtSmith #TearsForFears
...

✨🎹 THE IVORS INSPIRATION AWARD 🎹✨
@alison_goldfrapp and Will Gregory
#TheIvors #IvorNovelloAward #AlisonGoldfrapp #Will#Gregory #Goldfrapp
...

🌟🎶 The Ivors SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR 🎶🌟
@celeste and @Bensbrother1
#TheIvors #IvorNovelloAward #Celeste #JamieHartman #SongwriteroftheYear
...

💫🎻 THE IVORS CLASSICAL MUSIC AWARD 🎻💫
Mark-Anthony Turnage
#TheIvors #IvorNovelloAward #MarkAnthonyTurnage
...

🎶💿 The Ivors winner for BEST ALBUM 💿🎶
Lianne La Havas written by Matthew Hales and @liannelahavas
#TheIvors #IvorNovelloAward #MatthewHales #LianneLaHavas
...

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