First-time winners share honours with previous awardees
Wednesday, November 30, 2011: The winners of the 2011 British Composer Awards have been unveiled at a ceremony hosted by BASCA (British Academy of Songwriters, Composer and Authors) at Stationers’ Hall, London. Now in their ninth year, the awards are hosted by BASCA in association with BBC Radio 3 and sponsored by PRS for Music. The keynote address at the ceremony was given by renowned composer and broadcaster Michael Berkeley, who also presented the winners with their awards.
The awards will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in Sunday Concert on December 4 from 2pm. They have also received a substantial amount of pre-event coverage: ‘Hear and Now’ was dedicated to the awards on Saturday 26 November and a strand during ‘Live In Concert’ was broadcast on November 28, 29 and 30th. All of these shows can be enjoyed again at bbc.co.uk/iplayer.
BASCA is delighted to reveal that Julian Anderson scooped two awards this evening in the Orchestral and Liturgical categories for his works ‘Fantasias’ and ‘Bell Mass,’ respectively. Born in London in 1967, Anderson studied composition with John Lambert, Alexander Goehr (BCA Chamber Award Winner, 2009) and Tristan Murail. Anderson already holds two British Composer Awards from previous years.
Other established composers awarded by the judges this year include Anthony Payne who won in the Chamber category for ‘String Quartet No.2’, William Sweeney, whose ‘Sonata for Cello and Piano’ was recognised in the Instrumental Solo or Duo category and Graham Fitkin awarded in the new Outreach category for his vocal and orchestral work ‘PK’, commissioned for the 2010 BBC Proms.
A number of rising stars were also awarded. Among them was Lucy Pankhurst, whose piece ‘In Pitch Black’ (Wind or Brass) marked the anniversary of the Pretoria Pit disaster; Huw Watkins who was recognised in the Vocal category for ‘Five Larkin Songs’ – inspired by poet Philip Larkin, and John Barber who received the Community or Educational Project award for ‘Consider the Lilies.’
The roll-call of winners this evening produced eight new awardees across thirteen categories while previous British Composer Award winners were Anthony Payne (2003) Graham Fitkin (2009) Michael Zev Gordon (2008) and Julian Anderson (2004 and 2007).
Internationally, awards went to Danish composer Bent Sørensen for his piano concerto, La Mattina and in the student competition to Shanghai-born Wenjing Wang.
Almost 300 submissions were received for works premiered between 1 April 2010 and 31 March 2011. The list of nominations included the work of many of the UK's established and recognised contemporary composers whilst also bringing the work of new and up-coming talent to the attention of the judges.
Sarah Rodgers, Chairman of BASCA and Chair of the British Composer Awards, says: “The British Composer Awards juries are consistently looking for contemporary classical music which shows flair, originality and power of communication. The outcome of their deliberations is never predictable and this year’s results give accolades to a wonderfully wide sweep of British and international talent.”
Guy Fletcher, Chairman of PRS for Music, sponsors of the awards, comments, “Yet again we’ve seen that this country has a wealth of contemporary classical music talent and it is right that this is celebrated. I’m delighted to see new generations of composers being awarded this year along with the more established. The breadth of winners underpins just how vibrant and important the music scene is in the UK. Congratulations to all this year’s winners.”
Roger Wright, Controller, BBC Radio 3, says, “BBC Radio 3 is once again delighted to be covering the British Composer Awards as it has for the past eight years. Every year brings new surprises - and the 2011 Awards include a new Outreach category, marking the important work that composers are doing in this area to foster real opprtunities for young and community-based musicians to engage in the very positive act of performing music with others. Composers being rightly acknowledged for this and all the other work they do, year-round and often with little support, lies at the heart of these awards.”
The winners of the 2011 British Composer Awards were announced at Stationers’ Hall, London on Wednesday 30 November, and a special programme devoted to the awards is broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in Sunday Concert on December 4 from 2pm.