British Composer Awards 2015

Birtwistle strikes gold again at annual awards for new music

Harrison Birtwistle (Getty)

Sir Harrison Birtwistle (above) has extended his reign as the British Composer Awards’ (BCA) most honoured composer after last night’s ceremony, in which his Responses: Sweet disorder and the carefully careless for piano and orchestra won the Orchestral Award. The award takes Birtwistle’s tally up to 7. He has been nominated 13 times, an average of more than one a year since the Britih Composer Awards were inaugurated in 2004.

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Birtwistle was not the only returning award winner: Julian Anderson and Michael Finnissy both gained two additional awards this year to add to previous collections, and James Dillon and Rory Boyle won their third and second awards respectively.

However, among the cluster of regular returning visitors, there were also five first-time award-winners. These included Kate Whitely, whose Alive was premiered by children’s choir and orchestra in a Peckham car-park.

The British Composer Awards take place annually in December. Each category is judged by individual juries, which are comprised of fellow composers plus other influential members of the classical music community. The ceremony will be featured in Radio 3 programme Hear and Now at 10pm on Saturday 12 December.

2015 British Composer Award Winners:

Amateur or Young Performers:
Alive by Kate Whitley

Choral:
Stabat Mater dolorosa by James Dillon

Community or Educational Project:
Snapshot Songs by Stuart Hancock

Contemporary Jazz Composition:
The Fox, The Parakeet & The Chestnut by Trish Clowes

Large Chamber:
Many stares (through semi-nocturnal Zeiss-Blink) – Module 30 by Sinan Savaskan

Liturgical:
John the Baptist by Michael Finnissy

Orchestral:
Responses: Sweet disorder and the carefully careless by Harrison Birtwistle

Small Chamber:
String Quartet No.2 by Julian Anderson

Solo or Duo:
Beat Generation Ballads by Michael Finnissy

Sonic Art:
Currents by Yann Seznec

Stage Works:
Thebans
by Julian Anderson

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Wind Band or Brass Band:
Muckle Flugga
by Rory Boyle