This year’s winners of the Ivors Composer Awards – previously known as the British Composer Awards – were announced last night at a ceremony at the British Museum in London.
The prizes were awarded to new works written in the last year by UK composers across classical, jazz and sound art. As well as the primary awards, two composers were awarded individually: Anna Meredith was announced as the recipient of this year’s Ivor Novello Award for Innovation, and Erika Fox for Lifetime Achievement.
In the list of recipients this year, 91% were first-time winners and there was almost an equal gender divide, with 54% of the winners being women.
Nature inspired many of the winning composers: James Weeks won his second award in as many years for Leafleoht, which is inspired by the image of sunlight reflecting off leaves, using elemental sounds on the string instruments to echo the sounds of the natural world. Alison Rayner’s jazz composition There is a Crack in Everything mimicked the rhythms of cycling up and down the hills and lochs of Scotland searching for light. In the sound art category, Martin Green won with Aeons: A Sound Walk for Newcastle, which is a piece designed to be listened to on a walk on the banks of the River Tyne. Charlotte Bray’s Invisible Cities, meanwhile, reflects on the urban environment.
Other composers took inspiration from philosophy and history, with Geoff Hannan’s choral work Pocket Universe featuring text by Isaac Newton and Galileo Galilei. Christian myths were the focus of Gavin Higgins’s trombone concerto The Book of Miracles, influenced by a recently discovered German Renaissance manuscript.
BBC Radio 3 will broadcast a programme dedicated to the awards at 9pm on Sunday 8 December.
The full list of winners can be found below.
AMATEUR OR YOUNG PERFORMERS
The Salamander and The Moonraker by Edward Gregson
Flute Concerto by Dai Fujikura
Pocket Universe by Geoff Hannan
COMMUNITY OR EDUCATIONAL PROJECT
Convo by Charlotte Harding
JAZZ COMPOSITION FOR LARGE ENSEMBLE
Jumping In by Laura Jurd
JAZZ COMPOSITION FOR SMALL ENSEMBLE
There is a Crack in Everything by Alison Rayner
The Book of Miracles (Trombone Concerto) by Gavin Higgins
Leafleoht by James Weeks
SOLO OR DUO
Invisible Cities by Charlotte Bray
Aeons: A Sound Walk for Newcastle by Martin Green
Harriet (‘Scenes in the life of Harriet Tubman’) by Hilda Paredes
Anna Meredith MBE