British Composer Awards 2013 shortlist announced

Gabriel Jackson, Sir Harrison Birtwistle and Rebecca Saunders among nominees

Harrison Birtwistle
Published: October 23, 2013 at 10:47 am

The shortlist for the annual British Composer Award has been announced and includes 39 works by 38 different composers.


Gabriel Jackson is the only composer to have been nominated twice – in both the Choral and Liturgical categories. Jackson won the Choral category in both 2009 and 2012.

Two of the shortlisted composers were nominated posthumously – Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, who has never been nominated for the awards before, and Jonathan Harvey.

Radio 3’s New Generation Jazz Artist, saxophonist Trish Clowes, has been shortlisted for the Contemporary Jazz Award.

Three of the shortlisted works were written as part of the Cultural Olympiad: Stephen McNeff’s The Chalk Legend, James Redwood’s Pass the Torch, An Olympic Symphony and Olive Searle’s Technophobia.

The British Composer Awards were created by the British Academy of Songwriters and Authors (BASCA) and are sponsored by PRS for Music and presented in association with Radio 3.

‘The nominees for this year’s British Composer Awards truly showcase the magnificent contemporary classical and jazz talent we have in the UK,’ said Guy Fletcher, chair of PRS for Music.

This year the awards received over 300 entries and the shortlists (see below) were each drawn up by a different jury of people from the music profession, including composers, performers, conductors and festival directors.

The Awards will be announced in a ceremony on 3 December at Goldsmiths’ Hall, London and Radio 3 will be broadcast coverage of the ceremony on Saturday 7 December.

2013 British Composer Awards Shortlist

Instrumental Solo or Duo
Cirrus Light by Jonathan Harvey
Darkness Visible by George Nicholson
Gigue Machine by Harrison Birtwistle

Chopin’s Waterloo by Benjamin Wallfisch
Fletch by Rebecca Saunders
String Quartet No. 4 by Colin Matthews

A Pretence of Wit by Edward Nesbit
Electra Mourns by Brian Elias
Flesh and Blood by David Sawer

Choral Symphony by Gabriel Jackson
Colloquy with God by Richard Rodney Bennett
Since it was the Day of Preparation... by James MacMillan

Wind Band or Brass Band
Diversions after Benjamin Britten: Four Centenary Tributes for Brass Band by Simon Dobson, Gavin Higgins, Paul McGhee, Lucy Pankhurst
Mysteries of the Horizon by Nigel Clarke

Symphony in two movements by Edward Gregson

Rivers to the Sea by Joseph Phibbs
Tenebrae by John Pickard
The London Citizen Exceedingly Injured by Raymond Yiu

Stage Works
Imago by Orlando Gough
The Firework-Maker’s Daughter by David Bruce
Written on Skin by George Benjamin


Cantate Domino by Gabriel Jackson
I saw the Lord by Matthew Martin
O Oriens by Cecilia McDowall

Sonic Art
5 Minute Oscillations of the Sun by Caroline Devine
Dart for Solo Cello, Delays and Digital playback by Tom Williams
No Such Object (Speed of Light) by Ed Baxter and Chris Weaver

Contemporary Jazz Composition
Iris Nonet by Trish Clowes
Lifelines by John Surman
Songs to the North Sky by Tim Garland

Community or Educational Project
Elemental Songs and Dances by Richard Bullen
Pass the Torch, An Olympic Symphony by James Redwood
Technophonia by Oliver Searle

Making Music Award
Dry Stone Walls of Yorkshire by Peter McGarr
Screech by Kerry Andrew
The Chalk Legend by Stephen McNeff


International Award
Symphony No. 8 by Per Nørgård
The Importance of Being Earnest by Gerald Barry
Woven Dreams by Toshio Hosokawa

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