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Nominations for Ivors Composer Awards Announced

Celebrating the best new classical, jazz, and sound art compositions, the Ivors Academy will present the winners in a live awards ceremony in December


Open to all UK composers, entries must have received their first UK performance between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021. Due to the pandemic, compositions performed through a live-streamed concert were also eligible.

Supported by PRS for Music, an Ivor Novello Award will be presented to each winner by BBC Radio 3’s Tom Service and Sara Mohr-Pietsch at the live awards ceremony on December 8, held at the British Museum.

The ceremony will be broadcast as a special edition of the New Music Show on December 11 by BBC Radio 3. An additional four Gift of the Academy Awards will be given at the ceremony — representing the Innovation, Outstanding Works Collection, Impact, and Visionary Awards.

“We are delighted to be supporting The Ivors Composer Awards again,” Alan Davey of BBC Radio 3 said. “…as we broadcast a ceremony that shines a light on the work of some of its most innovative and imaginative composers.”

As many of these works were written last year, the theme of lockdown is influential in many of the works. Although the pandemic affected live performances, commissions for new works remained ceaseless during these difficult circumstances.

“As these awards recognize works premiered during 2020, when venues were closed for much of the year, I feel this list of nominees is a testament to the resilience of our composers,” said Julian Joseph OBE, chair of The Ivors Academy’s Awards Committee and fellow of the academy.

The 2021 Ivors Composer Awards Nominees are:

Jazz Composition

  • Bye By Alex Paxton - for small jazz ensemble and improviser
  • Corncrack Dreams By Alex Paxton - for trombone, keyboard and drums
  • Dreams By Brigitte Beraha And Dave Manington - for jazz sextet
  • The Caged Bird By Nikki Iles - for jazz band
  • The Rise Of The Lizard People By Ivo Neame - for jazz orchestra

Large Scale Composition

  • Catamorphosis By Anna Thorvaldsdottir - for orchestra
  • Democracy Dances By Conor Mitchell - for symphony orchestra
  • Kaamos By Lara Poe - for orchestra
  • Pharmakeia By James Dillon - for 16 players
  • This Departing Landscape By Martin Suckling - for orchestra

Small Chamber Composition

  • A Field Guide To Pebbles By Lynne Plowman - for percussion duo
  • Nightingales: Ultra-Deep Field By Tansy Davies - for string quartet
  • Sometimes Voices By Alex Paxton - for keyboard and drums
  • Still Life By Stephen Goss - for cello and guitar
  • Wicked Problems By Laura Bowler - for voice, bass flute and fixed tape part

Solo Composition

  • ‘Echo The Angelus’ By James Dillon - for piano
  • Fading Spellsphere By Ben Gaunt - for piano
  • Lampades By Martin Iddon - for tuba and fixed media
  • Linear Construction (No. 5) By Alex Groves - for cello
  • No One By Robin Haigh - for harp

Sound Art

  • Fire Prevention Or How To Sing A Labyrinth Or The Rebeing And The Burning Of The Labyrinth By Nwando Ebizie - for piano, voice and electronics with field recordings
  • London 26 And 28 March 2020: Imitation: Inversion By Caroline Kraabel - for baritone, alto and sopranino saxophones and double bass
  • Nocturnal Insights By Nikki Sheth - For Field Recordings of crepuscular and nocturnal wildlife in the uk
  • The Cuckmere Soundwalk By Ed Hughes - for chamber orchestra
  • Waves Of Resistance (Radio Art Without Borders) Tonnta Friotaíochta (Ealaíne Raidió Gan Teorainneacha) By Magz Hall - radiophonic poem, wasp synth and location recordings from the Irish Sea And Canterbury Garden

Vocal Or Choral Composition

  • Baruch – Ten Propositions Of Baruch Spinoza For Tenor And Piano By Michael Zev Gordon - for tenor and piano
  • Gyökér (Root) By Thomas Adès - for mezzo-soprano and four percussionists
  • Never To Forget By Howard Goodall - for satb choir and small orchestra
  • Thinking I Hear Thee Call By Cheryl Frances-Hoad - for soprano, speaker and electronics
  • Vidi Aquam By James Macmillan - for 40 a cappella voices, split into 8 SSATB choirs

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