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Info & Advice category: Articles

Over the past ten years, I’ve had the privilege to work on our unique awards – The Ivors and The Ivors Composer Awards (previously the British Composer Awards). What makes an Ivor Novello Award (and previously a British Composer Award) so respected and prestigious is two-fold: categories are judged exclusively by music creators, so truly […]

If you bump into Jin Jin walking down the street on her phone, there’s a distinct possibility she’s recording a top line she caught herself humming. As many songwriters and creators know, inspiration can strike at any time, so it’s important to capture ideas as soon as possible. Because who knows? It could be another […]

Jennifer Walshe

Over the past 15 years Jennifer Walshe has become one of the most fêted composers in contemporary classical music. From writing an opera for Barbie dolls (XXX_LIVE_NUDE_GIRLS!!!) to creating a collective of fake Irish composers each played by Walshe herself (the Grúpat collective); from works for symphony orchestra and organ (Hotel Chelsea) to works for […]

Cathy Dennis, 2018

Cathy Dennis is arguably one of the greatest British songwriters of all time. Following a successful stint as a solo artist in the ‘90s, Dennis has since written for some of the biggest names in music, from Kylie Minogue to Janet Jackson, Britney Spears and Katy Perry. Her lyrical brilliance has been proven time and […]

Bill Martin

For someone who has won five Ivor Novellos, three ASCAP awards, a Gold Badge Award, an MBE and Eurovision, it’s somewhat remarkable that 79-year-old Bill Martin still feels he has more to achieve. He’d like to end his career with a hit musical – after having a musical called Jukebox in 1985, which coined the […]

Negotiating a deal, especially in the formative years of a media composer’s career, is a tricky thing. To borrow Winston Churchill’s famous tax analogy, negotiating feels “like standing in a bucket and trying to lift yourself up by the handle.” Starting out in the early 2000s as an unpublished media composer, I found myself frequently […]

The story behind the tragically early death of Amy Winehouse shown in Asif Kapadia’s 2015 documentary got a lot of people thinking. It highlighted the unique pressures faced by artists – and how working in the music industry may exacerbate stress and anxiety, leading to self-destructive behaviour as a way of dealing with it. When […]

At time of press, Ivor Novello-award winner Ed Sheeran is facing the prospect of two plagiarism claims – the allegations being that Photograph copies Amazing (as performed by Matt Cardle) and that Thinking Out Loud uses core elements of the Marvin Gaye hit Let’s Get It On. As these claims follow a series of high profile infringement cases in both the UK […]

1. Keep good records A well-ordered record-keeping system that provides easy access to information is the backbone of any profitable business. If you don’t have good records you will incur unnecessary professional fees, make more mistakes which could possibly trigger tax and VAT penalties, and you will never really know how well you are doing. […]

It was once something no self-respecting artists would have considered, whatever the circumstances. But nowadays bands are falling over themselves to grab a slice of the corporate dollar by teaming up with a brand, without fear of losing credibility for having ‘sold-out’. Such has been the sea change in attitude that a brand association can […]

What has been the most pivotal moment in your career to date? An invitation on to the IRCAM induction course in 1981, where I learned music programming. Your work as a free vocal improviser has pushed so many boundaries – what drew you originally to the voice? Just as a baby is especially responsive to anything resembling a human face, […]

What has been the most pivotal moment in your career to date? Moving to Scotland. Being in a smaller, but vibrant, cultural scene opened up many possibilities in terms of collaborations and projects. And above all, the music and landscape were a revelation. What sparked your decision to develop a career as a composer, in addition to […]


The subconscious mind remains an unfathomable well of potential inspiration. However, you might be surprised at some of the figures that float about in Goldie’s subconscious, not least Judie Tzuch. She perhaps isn’t the first songwriter you imagine would have made much impact on him as a 13-year-old boy, kicking a ball around in Walsall. […]

Shiva Feshareki likes taking risks. Her first show performing with the jazz organist Kit Downes last year was not planned, rehearsed or even discussed in detail until the night of the show, despite it being broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. While most performers might baulk at that prospect, particularly as it brought together the […]

Dobrinka Tabakova

Whether listening to her family’s LP and magnetic tape collection or attending the Plovdiv Verdi festival every summer, Dobrinka Tabakova was surrounded by music from an early age. Many of Dobrinka’s earliest and fondest memories are singing in school or chapel choirs, cocooned against the beautiful and magical backdrop of the Rhodope Mountains. As well […]

Nigel Osborne has been called a Renaissance man, and that seems no less than the truth.  He has a long and distinguished career as a composer.  But the BASCA award focuses on his inspiration as educator and humanitarian – his pioneering use of music to support children of conflict. I reckon uniquely for a composer […]

Wayne Hector wrote his first number one single in 1996 – when he was just 17. His list of writing credits is now so accomplished that you’d expect it to belong to a man twice his age. If you’ve listened to mainstream radio in the past 20 years, then you’re sure to have heard his […]

Simon Bainbridge has had a major influence as both composer and teacher. I begin by asking him about his influence on other composers through his teaching. “I very rarely discuss my music in detail with my students,” he comments. “However, I may attempt to illuminate some particular structural issue by making a correlation with my […]

It would not be an overstatement to describe Ludovico Einaudi as something of a phenomenon. With 132 million streams worldwide, 400,000 followers on Spotify, 11 million Vevo views and over 1.5 million records sold, his music speaks to a wide and varied audience and regularly fills concert halls. Yet to consider his work purely in […]

Edited report below. For full report please download PDF. A recent BASCA study has revealed the true extent of the problems surrounding diversity and equality in the classical music world. This new and exclusive research looks ay gender and ethnicity within the realms of classical music education and composition commissions. About the Research The research, […]


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