The shortlist for this year’s British Composer Awards has been announced, with nominees in 13 categories. Alongside a handful of top British composers, including Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Sir John Tavener, Jonathan Harvey (pictured right) and Alexander Goehr, a number of relatively unfamiliar names including Bernard Hughes, Christian Mason and Elizabeth Winters have been nominated.
With entries of new works premiered between April 2008 and March 2009 pouring in, the annual competition for contemporary music received more than 300 entries. Categories ranged from chamber to liturgical music, and for the first time included contemporary jazz composition. A panel of over 60 music professionals, including performers, composers and festival directors, then spent two months judging the new works.
‘These are some of the most remarkable results we have had in the 7-year history of the Awards,’ says Sarah Rodgers, chairman of the awards and of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors, which runs the competition. ‘Emerging talent is a strong feature of this year’s list of nominees and we truly celebrate that.’
Ahead of the awards ceremony on 1 December at the Law Society in London, Radio 3 will be exploring the challenges posed by new music in a 5-part series in Performance on 3. And the following day the entire event will be broadcast at 7pm.