Ivors Academy reveals nominations for 2020 Ivors Composer Awards

Many of this year's nominated works are focused around the theme of 'protest'

Composer Rebecca Saunders
Published: November 3, 2020 at 11:30 am

The Ivors Academy has announced the nominations for this year's Ivors Composer Awards across eleven categories. The Awards celebrate composers writing in the fields of classical, jazz and sound art, with one composer winning in each category.


Protest is a common theme among this year's nominated works, with issues such as climate change, suffrage, homophobia, the Windrush Generation, Brexit and nuclear arms all addressed by composers.

Over half of the nominees in this year's Ivors Composer Awards are first-time nominees. Others are familiar faces including Rebecca Saunders (above), Harrison Birtwistle, Sally Beamish and Judith Weir.

The winners of this year's Ivors Composer Awards will be revealed in a live broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on 1 December at 7.30pm.

The full list of nominees:


  • Grin by Robin Haigh for chamber orchestra
  • Hover by Sally Beamish for two oboe, two horns and strings
  • Piano Concerto by Ryan Wigglesworth for piano and chamber orchestra
  • Prometheus Symphony by Stuart Macrae for soprano, bass-baritone and chamber orchestra
  • Une Saison en Enfer by Josephine Stephenson for tenor and string orchestra


  • Bogoróditse Dévo, Ráduysiâ by Cheryl Frances-Hoad for SATB choir
  • Earth Song by Rachel Portman for SATB choir
  • I Sing of Love by Bernard Hughes for SATB choir (with divisi)
  • Pietà by Richard Blackford for mezzo soprano, baritone, SATB chorus, optional children’s chorus and string orchestra
  • Pious Anthems and Voluntaries by Michael Finnissy for soloists, organ, flute, violin and choir


  • I Am Alban by Anne Dudley for mixed choir, soloists, narrator and orchestra, with libretto by Ian McMillan
  • More Up by Oliver Vibrans for chamber orchestra and electronics
  • The Big Picture by Judith Weir for two choirs (unison/SATB) and instrumental ensemble
  • Tuqus by Bushra El-Turk for multi ability symphony orchestra
  • What do you do with an idea? by Paul Rissman for orchestra, choir, narrator and dancer, with libretto by Kobi Yamada


  • A Tall Tale by Tom Haines for jazz orchestra
  • Crepuscule by Charlie Bates for jazz orchestra
  • Present by Jonny Mansfield for jazz orchestra, choir and soloist, with libretto by Ella Hohnen-Ford
  • The Pink Shagpile Carpet Story aka The King of Spank by Sam Eastmond for jazz orchestra
  • What is Understanding? by Jelly Cleaver for ensemble and vocals


  • Calvados by Alex Hitchcock for saxophones, double bass, drums and synthesizers
  • Elemental Utterances by Matt London for alto flute, tenor saxophone, violin, double bass, drums and voice
  • New Ears Suite by Calum Gourlay for tenor saxophone, tenor trombone, double bass and drums
  • The Vision They Had by Renell Shaw for seven-piece band
  • Weird Weather by Lockheart for saxophones, keyboards, bass violin and drums


  • Gleann Ciùin by Claire M Singer for organ, violin, viola, four cello and two horns
  • Honey Siren by Oliver Leith for string ensemble
  • No. 50 (The Garden) by Richard Ayres for amplified ensemble, bass voice and soundtrack
  • Scar by Rebecca Saunders for 15 soloists and conductor
  • The Centre is Everywhere by Edmund Finnis for 12 string players


  • Clarinet Concerto by Mark Simpson for clarinet and orchestra
  • Hawaii Hawaii Hawaii by Joe Cutler for saxophone and orchestra
  • Horror Vacui by Johnny Greenwood for solo violin and 68 solo strings
  • Night Music by Jasper Dommett for orchestra
  • The Anvil by Emily Howard for soprano, bass baritone, chamber choir, youth choir, chorus and orchestra, with libretto by Michael Symmons Roberts


  • Aroha by Robert Laidlow for string quartet
  • It's Not You, It's Me by Elena Langer for soprano, baritone and piano, with libretto by Glyn Maxwell
  • Kraken Cello Concertante by Amir Konjani for Kraken cello, trumpet, violin and Kraken piano
  • ... Shadows That In Darkness Dwell... by Timothy Cooper for countertenor, recorder, theorbo, baroque cello and electronics
  • Six Movements by Daniel Fardon for string quartet


  • A Line Alongside Itself by Newton Armstrong for solo cello with four pre-recorded cellos and electronic sounds
  • Cloud Engine by Thomas Gibbs for solo tuba with live electronics
  • Diaries of the Early Worm by Gareth Moorcraft for solo alto recorder
  • Duet for Eight Strings by Harrison Birtwistle for viola and cello
  • Kindly, Softly by Georgia Denham for violin and piano


  • Intact by Sophie Cooper vocal and trombone recordings edited and manipulated for the Huddersfield Immersive Sound System
  • On Common Ground by Caroline Devine abstract vocal fragments, synthesizers and electronic instruments, field recordings and voices
  • Requiem for the 21st Century by Khyam Allami oud, 16-piece string section and SATB chorus
  • The Sculptor Speaks by Olivia Louvel electroacoustic resounding of a 1961 recording of Barbara Hepworth’s voice
  • Twittering Machines by Kathy Hinde bespoke vinyl, objects, live electronics, field recordings and video projections


  • Abomination: A Dup Opera by Conor Mitchell opera for chamber orchestra, six soloists and SATB chorus
  • Denis & Katya by Philip Venables opera for mezzo soprano, baritone, four amplified cellos, tape and video, with libretto by Ted Huffman
  • A Sense of Time by Gabriel Prokofiev ballet for symphony orchestra and electronics

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