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The Ivors Composer Awards re-launched as The Ivors Classical Awards

The awards recognise contemporary composing for classical and sound arts.

We have re-launched The Ivors Composer Awards as The Ivors Classical Awards to celebrate creative excellence in composition for contemporary classical and sound art. The awards were established as the British Composer Awards in 2003 and became The Ivors Composer Awards in 2019. They recognised jazz composing as well as classical and sound art, and the Academy is seeking to establish The Ivors Jazz Awards in 2024.

Graham Davies, CEO of The Ivors Academy, said, “At a time when classical and jazz music is under threat by our cultural institutions, it is more important than ever to showcase the very best of composition. We have a tradition in the UK for producing and nurturing outstanding composers, as seen at the King’s Coronation and in our concert halls. We are proud to increase the impact of our awards by developing a new space in our yearly programme to celebrate jazz separately to classical and sound art composition.”

Lloyd Coleman, Chair of The Ivors Academy’s Classical Council, said, “The new name and format this year means the creativity and brilliance of the UK’s finest composers will be celebrated and profiled more than ever. Despite the many challenges, friends and colleagues continue to do what they do best – creating music that is dizzyingly original, vital and diverse. I look forward to raising a toast to their talents in November.”

Entries for The Ivors Classical Awards open today, 2nd June, until the 14th July. 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 is unique as it represents peer recognition with categories judged by award-winning composers from across the Academy’s membership.

In a change from The Ivors Composer Awards, Irish as well as British composers will be eligible for consideration at The Ivors Classical Awards. Eligible composers or sound artists must be British or Irish nationals or ordinarily resident in the UK from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023.

Publishers will also receive greater recognition at The Ivors Classical Awards. From this year a UK music publisher will receive a nomination credit where they own or control the copyright for a nominated piece.

Over the past twenty years, the Academy has celebrated and recognised the craft and achievements of some of the UK’s most talented composers including Sally Beamish, Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Tansy Davies, Jonny Greenwood, Anna Meredith, Sir John Tavener, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Errollyn Wallen, Roderick Williams and many more.

Last year’s winners included Joanna Marsh’s ORA Singers commission ‘All Shall Be Well’, Rebecca Saunders’ extraordinary orchestral work ‘To An Utterance’ and Thomas Adès’ ballet ‘Dante’. Special awards were given to virtuoso tabla player, percussionist and composer Talvin Singh for Innovation, Sir George Benjamin for Outstanding Works Collection Award and Judith Weir, who was awarded the Academy Fellowship – the highest honour bestowed by The Ivors Academy.

The Ivors Classical Awards are sponsored by PRS for Music and will take place on Tuesday 14th November at the BFI Southbank in London. BBC Radio 3 will broadcast the ceremony in a special edition of the New Music Show on Saturday 18th November at 10pm, which will also be available on BBC Sounds.

Musical works can be entered for eight award categories celebrating chamber, choral and orchestral compositions, staged works, community and participation projects and sound art.

Anyone can enter a work, including the composer. Professional tier members can enter up to two works for The Ivors Classical Awards with no fee, and a third work with a 50% discount at £12. Standard members can enter one work for free and two further works with a 25% discount at £18 per work. If a composer is not a member, the fee is £24 per work. To be eligible composers must be British or Irish nationals 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 works must have received their first UK performance between 1st April 2022 and 31st March 2023. The definition of UK performance includes live concerts, live-streamed concerts, broadcasts and appearance on a commercial recording if the music was accessible to members of the public in the UK for the first time.

Entries must be submitted by 5pm on Friday 14th July.

Enter and find the full rules here.


Friday 2nd June, Entries open

Friday 14th July, Entries close

Tuesday 17th October, Nominations announced

Tuesday 14th November, The Ivors Classical Awards, BFI Southbank, London

Saturday 18th November, The Ivors Classical Award Special on BBC Radio 3’s ‘New Music Show’, 10pm


Note: this page was updated on Wednesday 28th June to reflect change to the entry fee.


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