The British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) today announced the winners in 13 categories of the 2012 British Composer Awards. Of the 13 categories, nine have been awarded to new winners.

4 of the winners are completely new to the British Composer Awards: Ray Lee, Christine Tobin, Paul Rissmann and Thomas Larcher, winners in the categories of Sonic Art, Contemporary Jazz Composition, Community or Educational Project, and the International Award respectively. Christian Mason, Colin Matthews, Simon Dobson, Francis Grier, and Emily Howard, winners in Instrumental Solo or Duo, Vocal, Wind Band or Brass Band, Liturgical, and the Making Music Award respectively, are first-time winners although each has received previous nominations; whereas both Thomas Adès and Jocelyn Pook received Awards for the second time, and Gabriel Jackson’s Airplane Cantata gained him his second Award in the Choral category and his third win overall.

Sarah Rodgers, Chairman of BASCA and the British Composer Awards, said, “This has been a great year for British composers and BASCA is immensely proud to celebrate their success at the British Composer Awards. The 10th anniversary Awards have presented an authentic reflection of the new and the established, across a spectrum of language and invention which affirms the high reputation of contemporary classical composition in the UK.”

Topping the charts is Sir Harrison Birtwistle who wins his fourth British Composer Award. Birtwistle, shortlisted this year in two categories: Orchestral and Vocal, won his fourth British Composer Award when he was presented with the Orchestral Award for his Concerto for Violin and Orchestra by Ruth Mackenzie OBE, on behalf of BASCA. Birtwistle’s previous awards include both the Orchestral and Choral awards in 2005 and the Instrumental Solo or Duo award for Crowd in 2007. Crowd will be performed by Helen Tunstall, harpist with the Endymion Ensemble, as part of the British Composer Awards 10th Anniversary Concert at the Purcell Room on Wednesday 5 December.

The British Composer Awards are presented by BASCA and sponsored by PRS for Music in association with BBC Radio 3 who once again will provide exclusive broadcast coverage of the Awards on Sunday 9 December.

Roger Wright, Controller, BBC Radio 3 and Director, BBC Proms writes: “It's encouraging to think that for ten years now, Radio 3 and BASCA have collaborated on these awards, presenting a snapshot of musical creativity in the UK. We offer our congratulations to the winners this year. However, behind every award is a string of other deserving nominations and runners-up, proving that composers here are busy as ever across a whole range of genres. Radio 3 is delighted to be able to shine a light on this important area of our cultural life, not only broadcasting coverage of this event but working with composers throughout the year to bring new works to wider audiences.”

Guy Fletcher OBE, PRS Chairman says “It is an enormous privilege to be supporting the tenth anniversary of the British Composer Awards. We strongly identify with classical music in this country, having produced so many prolific and much loved composers. It has been an important and iconic year for our music on the world stage and this is reflected in the strength of contemporary entries at the awards. It is a joy to see so many new and established composers producing outstanding work.”

The full list of winning compositions is outlined below:
  • Instrumental Solo or Duo Christian Mason Learning Self- Modulation
  • Chamber Thomas Adès The Four Quarters
  • Vocal Colin Matthews No Man’s Land
  • Choral Gabriel Jackson Airplane Cantata
  • Wind Band or Brass Band Simon Dobson A Symphony of Colours
  • Orchestral Sir Harrison Birtwistle Concerto for Violin and Orchestra
  • Stage Works Jocelyn Pook DESH
  • Liturgical Francis Grier Missa Brevis
  • Sonic Art Ray Lee The Ethometric Museum
  • Contemporary Jazz Composition Christine Tobin Sailing to Byzantium
  • Community or Educational Project Paul Rissmann The Chimpanzees of Project Happytown
  • Making Music Award Emily Howard Mesmerism for Piano and Chamber Orchestra
  • International Award Thomas Larcher Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra
The Awards were presented at a ceremony at Goldsmiths' Hall which opened with a performance of Gareth Moorcraft’s Rondo? – winner of the third Student Competition at the British Composer Awards – performed by members of Endymion.

Wednesday 5 December 10th Anniversary Concert Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall, 7.45pm
Sunday 9 December BBC Radio 3 Sunday Concert featuring the 2012 British Composer Awards, 2pm


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