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Entries open for The Ivors Composer Awards to celebrate contemporary classical, jazz and sound arts

New for 2021 – in response to the pandemic, entries for the Awards can have been premiered in the UK through live streamed concerts and commercial recordings as well as concerts and broadcast performances.

The Ivors Academy has opened entries for The Ivors Composer Awards 2021, which recognise creative excellence in composition for contemporary classical, jazz, and sound arts. Each winner receives a coveted Ivor Novello Award, which are widely recognised as a pinnacle of achievement since they were first presented in 1956. An Ivor Novello Award uniquely represents peer recognition and are judged by composers, sound artists and those within the UK classical, jazz and sound art community.

In response to the impact of the pandemic on classical, jazz and sound art performances the Academy has expanded its eligibility definition of UK premiere performance. In addition to live concerts and broadcast performances, music that was played through a live streamed concert performance will also be eligible. Also included are works that appeared on a commercial recording for the first time, where the release is the work’s premiere.

The Ivors Composer Awards are supported by PRS for Music. The awards presentation is in association with BBC Radio 3, who provide exclusive broadcast coverage of the event. The Ivors Composer Awards will take place in early December 2021 with plans to hold the awards ceremony in London.

Last year’s winners included Jonny Greenwood for ‘Horror Vacui’ in the Large Orchestral category, Renell Shaw for ‘The Vision They Had’ in the Jazz Composition for Small Ensemble category, and sound artist Kathy Hinde for ‘Twittering Machines’. In 2020 three composers received Gift of the Academy Awards – Cecilia McDowall, Yazz Ahmed and Julian Joseph OBE.

Graham Davies, CEO of The Ivors Academy, said:

“We’re delighted to open entries for The Ivors Composer Awards 2021. It’s a unique moment to recognise outstanding talent and creativity amongst composers working across contemporary classical, jazz and sound arts. An Ivor Novello Award is a special recognition between peers, and I can’t wait to see what incredible works of composition are entered for this year’s awards”

Nigel Elderton, Chair of the PRS Members’ Council, said:

“The Ivors Composer Awards is an important moment to recognise and celebrate the exceptional work of the classical, jazz and sound art community. PRS for Music is incredibly proud to once again support the awards. We welcome the changes to the qualifying criteria introduced by The Ivors Academy to reflect how the pandemic has changed the musical landscape and creative process. We are looking forward to the award ceremony later this year and honouring the ongoing dedication, craft and vision of all the nominees.”

Anyone can enter a work for the Awards, including the composer. There is a £10 administration fee per entry, which is waived if the composer is a member of The Ivors Academy. To be eligible composers must be UK born or be ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom.

Each year the awards celebrate new music that was heard for the first time by the UK public. To be eligible for The Ivors Composer Awards 2021 works must have received their first UK performance between 1st April 2020 and 31st March 2021.

Submissions are made through the Academy’s entry website where you can also see the full rules.


Monday 17th May, Entries open

Friday 18th June, Entries close

Early November, Nominations announced

Early December, Winners announced

More about The Ivors Composer Awards


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