The prestigious awards, now in their 17th year, honour the best new works by UK contemporary composers in classical, jazz and sound art. Celebrating the art of composition and showcasing the creative talent of contemporary composers and sound artists, the winners in each category will be announced at a ceremony at the British Museum in London on Wednesday 4 December 2019. Tickets are available to buy now.
For the first time, winners will be presented with Ivor Novello Awards, the pinnacle of recognition for composing and songwriting.
This year 33 individual works have been nominated across 11 categories including Orchestral, Solo or Duo, Sound Art, Chamber Ensemble and Amateur or Young Performers. The nominated categories are judged anonymously, and are voted for and presented by music creators, representing true peer recognition for their craft.
Of the 30 composers nominated, Gary Carpenter, Sir James MacMillan and Charlotte Harding, who is a first-time nominee, have all received a double nomination.
The nominated works demonstrate the vibrant and diverse range of music composed in the UK today and composers reflected on a vast array of themes in their music:
Michael J McEvoy’s Mother Medusae responds to the #MeToo movement, gender pay gap and aggressive online trolling, whilst John Pickard’s Mass in Troubled Time unfolds a narrative of a family fleeing war-torn Syria by sea. Emily Peasgood’s Never Again, was commissioned by the Sea Folk Sing Project to commemorate the 100-year anniversary since Armistice Day on 11 November 1918, and explores reconciliation, and how one moves forward after a period of profound loss.
Reflecting on the natural world Martin Green’s Aeons: A Sound Walk for Newcastle is a sound walk designed to be experienced through headphones during a half-hour walk along Hadrian’s Wall Path on the banks of the River Tyne. Whilst Charlotte Bray’s Invisible Cities for viola and piano takes inspiration from Calvino’s book of the same name and reflects on the urban environment.
The Ivors Composer Awards are sponsored by PRS for Music. The event is in association with BBC Radio 3, providing exclusive broadcast coverage.
The Ivors Academy Chair, Crispin Hunt, says: “We’re incredibly excited to honour a wide range of phenomenal talent, all of whom have demonstrated the highest quality of composition craft in their fields, engaging with and challenging the world around them.”
Andrea C. Martin, PRS for Music CEO, commented: “I am delighted that we are once again supporting The Ivors Composer Awards, celebrating the diversity and vibrancy of our contemporary composer community. Congratulations to all those nominated, your works show the range of talent and creativity flourishing in the UK.”
Works eligible for The Ivors Composer Awards 2019 received a UK premiere between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019 and must have been composed by a composer born or ordinarily resident in the UK.
The Ivors Composer Awards 2019 Nominees:
SOLO OR DUO
Instrumental or vocal music performed by one or two players or voices
• Invisible Cities by Charlotte Bray
• Keyboard Engine by Sir Harrison Birtwistle
• Partials by Barnaby Martin
Three to five instruments for one player or voice per part
• Leafleoht by James Weeks
• Meeting the Universe Halfway by Matthew Sergeant
• String Quartet No.3 ‘Hana no hanataba’ by Julian Anderson
Six or more instruments or voices written for one player or voice per part, except works written specifically for the voice
• Flute Concerto by Dai Fujikura
• Mondrian by Gary Carpenter
• Sapiens by Mark Bowden
JAZZ COMPOSITION FOR SMALL ENSEMBLE
Up to eight instruments or voices that contain interactive improvisation as an essential element
• Mother Medusae by Michael J McEvoy
• Quadriga in 5 by Simon Thacker
• There is a Crack in Everything by Alison Rayner
JAZZ COMPOSITION FOR LARGE ENSEMBLE
Nine or more instruments or voices that contain interactive improvisation as an essential element
• Jumping In by Laura Jurd
• On Marsden Moor by Jonny Mansfield
• This Much I Know Is True by Mark Lockheart
A cappella or accompanies, except works for choir and orchestra
• Mass in Troubled Times by John Pickard
• O Virgo Prudentissima by Sir James MacMillan
• Pocket Universe by Geoff Hannan
Including works for choir and orchestra
• The Book of Miracles (Trombone Concerto) by Gavin Higgins
• Uncoiling the River by Kenneth Hesketh
• Woven Space by Helen Grime
Works specifically written for the stage, including opera, dance and musical theatre
• Cave by Tansy Davies
• Harriet (‘Scenes in the life of Harriet Tubman’) by Hilda Paredes
• Them by Charlotte Harding
Installations, sculptural, electroacoustic and audience-interactive work or non-concert formats
• Aeons: A Sound Walk for Newcastle by Martin Green
• Aurora by James Hamilton
• Regretfully Yours, Ongoing by Neil Luck
COMMUNITY OR EDUCATIONAL PROJECT
Works demonstrating a composer’s work in community engagement alongside compositional craft
• All the Hills and Vales Along by Sir James MacMillan
• Convo by Charlotte Harding
• Never Again by Emily Peasgood
AMATEUR OR YOUNG PERFORMERS
Works for voluntary, amateur or youth choirs, ensembles and orchestras
• Agreed by Howard Moody
• Ghost Songs by Gary Carpenter
• The Salamander and the Moonraker by Edward Gregson
Presented by BBC Radio 3’s Kate Molleson and Tom Service, the ceremony will also include the presentation of an Ivor Novello Award for Innovation and an Ivor Novello Award for Lifetime Achievement, presented in association with the Music Publishers Association.
For more information on The Ivors Composer 2019 Awards click here.