World-renowned composers John Adams, John Tavener and Alexander Goehr have all won prizes at this year’s British Composer Awards. The three were among 13 winners announced at a ceremony at the Law Society in London last night, which included the announcement of the first ever award for contemporary jazz composition. Composer and saxophonist Jason Yarde scooped this new prize with his BBC Prom commission Rhythm and Other Fascinations.
A jury including over 60 music professionals chose the winners from more than 300 entries. It was John Tavener’s ‘dramatic, atmospheric, at times joyous and at times meditative’ piece Ex Maria Virgine that won him the Liturgical category, while fellow British composer Alexander Goehr won the Chamber Award for his work Since Brass, Nor Stone – praised for its ‘fresh lyricism, lightness of touch and joy in melodic and rhythmic invention’. Meanwhile American composer John Adams (see above) won the International category for his opera Doctor Atomic.
Other winners included Simon Holt, for his orchestral work a table of noises, Graham Fitkin for his stage work Reel and Gabriel Jackson for his choral piece The Spacious Firmament. The full list of winners can be found here.
Radio 3 will be broadcasting the Awards in Performance on 3 tonight at 7pm.
Image: Margaretta Mitchell