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A tribute to Mira Calix

Stephen McNeff and Gary Carpenter, former Directors of The Ivors Academy, share personal memories of working with the pioneering composer.

Mira Calix was an innovative creative artist, a leader in her field. Her work speaks for itself and her many commissions firmly established her as one of the preeminent movers in her genre.

She also had a depth of understanding of other musical styles besides her own. We first worked together as PRS Foundation Advisors and I was deeply impressed at how well she understood the background of all the applications we were considering.

Her judgment was insightful and mature and helped us make good decisions. I later suggested that The Ivors Academy, then BASCA, could really use someone with her talents on the Classical Executive and, despite her increasing workload, she stood, was elected and became part of very strong team of classical creators at BASCA. She then joined the Board and was, as ever, strong and collegial through challenging times.

No one particularly wants to be remembered for the committees they sat on, but Mira recognised that alongside our prime musical work there is always much to be done making conditions better for creators and that the voices of artists with stature are more readily heard by the likes of politicians, the record companies and the wider public.

We are incredibly grateful to her for that work, but most of all we will miss her for her creative talents and also as friend, a delightful colleague and a truly rounded human being whose generous spirit will be very badly missed.

– Words by Stephen McNeff.


I only got to know Mira when we sat on the Ivors Academy Classical Committee and Board together. During that time she was an amazing colleague and a passionate advocate for progressive change. She was also great company; warm, witty with a laser-like intelligence and an industrial strength bullshit meter.

Her contribution to the world of electroacoustic music will stand as an awesome legacy to a dedicated, hard working (and I mean ridiculously hard working), inventive and innovative music maker.

I will not be alone in truly missing her; she was great and I feel enriched for having known her – and saddened that it could not have been for longer.

– Words by Gary Carpenter. 


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