The Ivors Composer Awards celebrates their 20th anniversary this year – and they are marking the occasion by expanding its format into a first-ever Ivors Composer Week.


The seven days of events will follow on from the Awards themselves, which celebrate the best new works by composers writing for classical, jazz and sound art. Ivors Composer Week will take place from 14 to 20 November, with the winners of this year’s Ivors Composer Awards announced on Tuesday 15 November.

Like the Awards themselves, the week will champion composers, providing opportunities to connect and exploring topics that impact on composers. Events will support The Ivors Academy Trust, which creates new opportunities for composers and songwriters including mentoring, creative support, leadership development and education.

Key events during the week include:

  • A reception at the House of Commons on Monday 14 November. This invitation-only event will be hosted by Kevin Brennan MP, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Music, and sponsored by PRS for Music. The ORA Singers will perform Ave Verum Corpus Re-imagined, composed by past Ivors winner Roderick Williams.
  • On Tuesday 15, the 20th edition of The Ivors Composer Awards will be presented by BBC Radio 3 presenters Hannah Peel and Tom Service, the latter also a BBC Music Magazine contributor. Tickets are available.
  • For Meet The Commissioners at St Martin in the Fields on Wednesday 16, Sarah Gee (Spitalfields Music), Gill Graham (Wise Music Group) and Aaron Holloway-Nahum from Riot Ensemble will discuss the changing classical commissioning landscape. Book for free as a member or for £10 as a non-member.
  • Thursday 17 will feature a live stream of a lecture by David Ferguson, Classical Beyond the Concert Hall. Also on the bill, composer Héloïse Werner (pictured top) and others will discuss the impact of new technologies in creating and strengthening human connections. Live streamed, the event is open to all.

Lloyd Coleman, composer and chair of The Ivors Academy’s Classical Council, said, 'As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of The Ivors Composer Awards, it is important that we look ahead to the next twenty years. As composers, we are affected by problems with touring, under-investment in state school music education, and financial pressures facing cultural institutions and venues.

'But the talent of composers in the UK, innovations in technology and the importance of music and culture to Britain’s place in the world mean that with the right support and funding, there are good reasons to be optimistic. The Ivors Academy will launch a new conversation and campaign, Composers Under Pressure? during Composers Week to explore the challenges and opportunities facing composers today and how we can ensure a bright future.”

You can read more about the Ivors Composer Awards in the December issue of BBC Music Magazine.


Héloïse Werner pic: Nick Rutter


Steve Wright
Steve WrightMulti-Platform Content Producer, BBC Music Magazine

Steve has been an avid listener of classical music since childhood, and now contributes a variety of features to BBC Music’s magazine and website. He started writing about music as Arts Editor of an Oxford University student newspaper and has continued ever since, serving as Arts Editor on various magazines.