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The Ivors Composer Awards 2019 Nominations Announced

• The Ivors Academy reveal 33 compositions nominated at The Ivors Composer Awards, inspired by a range of themes including the Syrian refugee experience and #MeToo movement

• World-renowned composers shortlisted include Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Sir James MacMillan, Helen Grime and Gavin Higgins

• The awards return as The Ivors Composer Awards, having previously been called the 
British Composer Awards since 2003

• For the first time, winners will be presented with Ivor Novello Awards, the pinnacle of recognition for composing and songwriting

28 October 2019: The Ivors Academy today revealed the nominations for The Ivors Composer Awards 2019. The prestigious awards, now in their 17th year, honour the best new works by UK contemporary composers in classical, jazz and sound art. The awards celebrate the art of composition whilst also showcasing creative talent of composers and sound artists.

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:


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


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


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


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


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

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.

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 visit www.ivorsacademy.com or follow @IvorsAcademy

– ENDS –

For further information contact:

Taylor Herring:
Leah Moir – LM@taylorherring.com
Jess Kane – JK@taylorherring.com
0208 206 5151

About The Ivors Academy

The Ivors Academy exists to support, protect and celebrate music creators in the UK. We are the independent professional association representing songwriters and composers in all genres, whether they create song, symphony or sync. We can trace our history back over 70 years. And we are entirely self-funded, relying on the continued support of our members and partners to carry on our work.

Music is the most profound, enduring and popular of art forms. It crosses all borders, conveys all emotions, and touches all people. None of the music that the world loves exists until brilliant songwriters and composers create it. We represent, support, protect and celebrate the creators of music.

Ivor Novello Awards are the ultimate accolade for songwriting and composing in the industry. The Ivors celebrate the talents of songwriters and screen composers, whilst The Ivors Composer Awards celebrate music creators in the classical, jazz and sonic art fields. The Ivors Academy Gold Badge recognises those who have supported and inspired our community. Each of these celebrations has at its heart the power and brilliance of music creators.

We campaign together nationally and internationally to ensure that the rights of our members are protected, especially as our industry continues to rapidly change. And we cultivate talent, creating a community across the country in which our members share their valuable knowledge, creators cross-pollinate and collaborate, and all voices are heard. We guide new talent entering the industry and continue to encourage our members as they progress to greater successes.

We are the champions of music creators.
We are The Ivors Academy.


About PRS for Music

PRS for Music represents the rights of songwriters, composers and music publishers in the UK and around the world. As a membership organisation it works to ensure that creators are paid whenever their musical compositions and songs are streamed, downloaded, broadcast, performed and played in public. With over 100 representation agreements in place globally, PRS for Music’s network represents over two million music creators worldwide. In 2018, 11.2 trillion performances of music were reported to PRS for Music with £746m collected on behalf of its members, making it one of the world’s leading music collective management organisations.

PRS for Music’s public performance licensing is now carried out on PRS for Music’s behalf by PPL PRS Ltd, the new joint venture between PPL and PRS for Music.


About BBC Radio 3
Since it launched in 1946, the Third Programme/ BBC Radio 3 has been a bold pioneer in the cultural world. It is one of the world’s foremost presenters, creators, commissioners and curators across classical, folk, world, jazz and contemporary music as well as drama, philosophy and ideas. The station is also the most significant commissioner of new and contemporary music in the UK, with 35 new works commissioned annually and broadcasts over 600 concerts a year, including live broadcasts from the greatest classical music festival in the world (BBC Proms). Radio 3’s In Concert programme alone reaches the equivalent of 250 packed concert halls a week, and the BBC Performing Groups give around 400 concerts a year in over 60 UK locations. The station has always nurtured extraordinary artistic talents, provided a platform for important scientific and political debates/announcements, and broadcast ground-breaking experimental drama – always while delivering its core aim of connecting audiences with pioneering music and culture.



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