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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.

The Ivors Composer Awards 2021 winners announced

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

The winners of The Ivors Composer Awards were announced at the ceremony on Wednesday 8 December at the British Museum in London, hosted by BBC Radio 3’s Tom Service and Sara Mohr-Pietsch.

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

Listen to BBC Radio 3’s New Music Show dedicated to The Ivors Composer Awards on Saturday 11th December at 10pm and after on BBC Sounds.

Discover more about the winning works here and below.

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 Winners

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Recipient

ZOE RAHMAN

This year’s Impact Award recognises a composer and pianist who is one of the brightest stars on the contemporary jazz scene. Zoe Rahman shines a one of Britain’s most powerful compositional voices and important contemporary artists who puts a spotlight on jazz from the UK as an international musical force.

Listen to Zoe Rahman’s music on Apple Music

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Recipient

SARAH ANGLISS

Sarah Angliss is no ordinary musician. Classically trained, specialising in baroque and renaissance music, she also studied electroacoustic engineering and robotics, and both sides of her education inform her art. A startling and multifaceted creative technologist and composer, she performs with both humans and machines, bringing electronic innovation into her unique compositions. Angliss creates a strikingly original sound world that reveals a unique and exceptional compositional voice.

Listen to Sarah Angliss’ music on Apple Music

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Recipient

CLEVELAND WATKISS

The Ivor Novello Award for Innovation recognises a creative innovator. The Academy described Cleveland Watkiss as a pioneer in the universe of sound, a tireless and fearless explorer who always travels his own way. His work in ensembles reveals an insight, and skill as a spontaneous composer sensitive to the conditions that allow creative improvisation to thrive. He is unique globally and in the annals of British Jazz and contemporary music, uncategorisable. Beyond his work as a band leader and vocalist extraordinaire, across jazz, drum ‘n’ bass, reggae and beyond, he continues to help educate others, passing on the wisdom accumulated by his years of trailblazing.

Listen to Cleveland Watkiss’ music on Apple Music

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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 RISE OF THE LIZARD PEOPLE

Composed by Ivo Neame
for jazz orchestra
6 mins

listen on Apple Music

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Winner

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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Recipient

ALEXANDER GOEHR

The Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Works Collection recognises an exceptional body of classical works. In presenting the award to Alexander Goehr the Academy said his remarkable music has defined its own significance for the past 70 years. Varied and skilful, it contains a beauty that draws the listener into a unique and enigmatic world of sound.

Listen to Alexander Goehr’s music on Apple Music
Find out more about this music via Schott 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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Winner

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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Winner

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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Winner

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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Winner

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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The Ivors Composer Awards 2021 Commemorative Programme

Listen to Ivor Novello Award Winning Works

Bringing together award winning classical works from 2003 up to the present year, including music from 2021 winners Cleveland Watkiss, Sarah Angliss and Zoe Rahman.

The Ivors Academy would like to thank all who sat on this year’s award panels and members of The Ivors Composer Awards Committee:

Peter Adjaye, Yazz Ahmed, Kristina Arakelyan, Newton Armstrong, Ed Baxter, Natalie Murray Beale, Libby Burgess, Richard Causton, Natalie Clein, Sophie Cooper, Jessica Cottis, Sarah Dacey, Caroline Devine, Sam Eastmond, Bushra El-Turk, Evelyn Ficarra, Paula Gardiner, Adam Gorb, Julia Haferkorn, Simon Halsey, Charlotte Harding, Carmen Ho, Dani Howard, Gabriel Jackson, Julian Joseph, Ray Lee, Mark Lockheart, Zoe Martlew, William Mival, Gareth Moorcraft, Lynne Plowman, Ed Puddick, Alison Rayner, Ailís Ní Ríain, Orphy Robinson, Sasha Scott, Bill Sweeney, Dobrinka Tabakova, Shirley Tetteh and Ilan Volkov.

Latest Awards Snaps View all

#TheIvorsComposerAwards nomination for Vocal or Choral Composition 🎶🎼

Vidi Aquam by James MacMillan
...

#TheIvorsComposerAwards nomination for Vocal or Choral Composition 🎶🎼

Thinking I Hear Thee Call by Cheryl Frances-Hoad
...

#TheIvorsComposerAwards nomination for Vocal or Choral Composition 🎶🎼

Never To Forget by Howard Goodall
...

#TheIvorsComposerAwards nomination for Vocal or Choral Composition 🎶🎼

Gyökér (Root) by Thomas Adès
...

#TheIvorsComposerAwards nomination for Vocal Or Choral Composition 🎶🎼

Baruch – Ten Propositions Of Baruch Spinoza For Tenor And Piano by Michael Zev Gordon
...

Just announced 🎉

#TheIvorsComposerAwards nominations for Vocal Or Choral Composition:

🎵 Baruch – Ten Propositions Of Baruch Spinoza For Tenor And Piano by Michael Zev Gordon
🎵 Gyökér (Root) by Thomas Adès
🎵 Never To Forget by Howard Goodall
🎵 Thinking I Hear Thee Call by Cheryl Frances-Hoad
🎵 Vidi Aquam by James MacMillan

Winners will be revealed at the ceremony on 8th December at @britishmuseum in London.

Join us! Visit link in bio to book tickets.
...

#TheIvorsComposerAwards nomination for Sound Art 🔊🎶

Waves Of Resistance (Radio Art Without Borders) Tonnta Friotaíochta (Ealaíne Raidió Gan Teorainneacha) by @hallmagz
...

#TheIvorsComposerAwards nomination for Sound Art 🔊🎶

The Cuckmere Soundwalk by Ed Hughes
...

#TheIvorsComposerAwards nomination for Sound Art 🔊🎶

Nocturnal Insights by @nikkimsheth
...

#TheIvorsComposerAwards nomination for Sound Art 🔊🎶

London 26 And 28 March 2020: Imitation: Inversion by Caroline Kraabel
...

#TheIvorsComposerAwards nomination for Sound Art 🔊🎶

Fire Prevention Or How To Sing A Labyrinth Or The Rebeing And The Burning Of The Labyrinth by @nwando_ebizie
...

Just announced 🎉

#TheIvorsComposerAwards nominations for Sound Art:

🔊 Fire Prevention Or How To Sing A Labyrinth Or The Rebeing And The Burning Of The Labyrinth by @nwando_ebizie
🔊 London 26 And 28 March 2020: Imitation: Inversion by Caroline Kraabel
🔊 Nocturnal Insights by @nikkimsheth
🔊 The Cuckmere Soundwalk by Ed Hughes
🔊 Waves Of Resistance (Radio Art Without Borders) Tonnta Friotaíochta (Ealaíne Raidió Gan Teorainneacha) by @hallmagz

Winners will be revealed at the ceremony on 8th December at @britishmuseum in London.

Join us! Visit link in bio to book tickets.
...

#TheIvorsComposerAwards nomination for Solo Composition 🎼✍️

No One by @haigher
...

#TheIvorsComposerAwards nomination for Solo Composition 🎼✍️

Linear Construction (No. 5) by @alexgroves_
...

#TheIvorsComposerAwards nomination for Solo Composition 🎼✍️

Lampades by Martin Iddon
...

#TheIvorsComposerAwards nomination for Solo Composition 🎼✍️

Fading Spellsphere by Ben Gaunt
...

#TheIvorsComposerAwards nomination for Solo Composition 🎼✍️

‘echo the angelus’ by James Dillon
...

Just announced 🎉

#TheIvorsComposerAwards nominations for Solo Composition:

🎹 ‘echo the angelus’ by James Dillon
🎹 Fading Spellsphere by Ben Gaunt
🎹 Lampades by Martin Iddon
🎹 Linear Construction (No. 5) by @alexgroves_
🎹 No One by @haigher

Winners will be revealed at the ceremony on 8th December at @britishmuseum in London.

Join us! Visit link in bio to book tickets.
...

#TheIvorsComposerAwards nomination for Small Chamber Composition 🎶🎹

Wicked Problems by Laura Bowler
...

#TheIvorsComposerAwards nomination for Small Chamber Composition 🎶🎹

Still Life by @stevegoss1
...

Latest Tweets View all

Posthumous Birthday of important historical figure in entertainment #IvorNovello (1893-1951)
Actor, Composer, Songwriter and obvious namesake of the @IvorsAcademy, #TheIvors & #TheIvorsComposerAwards

'Till you are home once more'

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