2020 Ivor Composer Awards

Congratulations to Sally Beamish, Harrison Birtwistle, Emily Howard, Amir Konjani, Matt London, Mark Simpson and Robert Laidlow on their Ivor Composer Award nominations.

Announced earlier this month, The Ivors Composer Awards 2020 (formerly British Composer Awards) celebrate the best new works by composers writing for classical, jazz and sound art. Nominated compositions across 11 categories demonstrate the wide diversity of settings, styles and themes of contemporary music being composed in the UK.

Picture of Sally Beamish

Sally Beamish

Sally Beamish’s Hover, for two oboes, two horns and strings, appears in the Chamber Orchestra category; Emily Howard’s largescale work The Anvil and Mark Simpson’s Clarinet Concerto are both vying to win the Large Orchestral award; Amir Konjani and Robert Laidlow are competing in the Small Chamber category with Kraken Cello Concertante and Aroha respectively; Harrison Birtwistle’s Duet for Eight Strings is up for the Solo/Duo accolade; and Matt London’s Elemental Utterances is hoping to secure success in the Jazz Composition for Small ensemble category.

Gary Carpenter, Chair of The Ivors Academy’s Awards Committee, said: ‘The works nominated for this year’s Composer Awards perfectly illustrate how contemporary classical, jazz and sound arts respond to the world around us and shape our understanding of the contradictions, uncertainties and hopes that create the fabric of our lives. On behalf of music creators and The Ivors Academy I would like to congratulate all nominees on their achievement. As our world feels increasingly uncertain, we must treasure what makes life so wonderful – music, inspiration and escape.’

Amir Konjani

Andrea C Martin, CEO of PRS for Music, added: ‘We are proud to continue our support of The Ivors Composer Awards. Without question, this year has been incredibly difficult for our industry. While the classical community has faced its own unique challenges in recent months, the vitality of your compositions has remained a constant in our lives. Retaining their ability to truly inspire, move and affect emotion. Congratulations to all the nominees, especially those nominated for the first time, and we look forward to honouring the winners in December.’

Alan Davey, Controller BBC Radio 3 and classical music said: ‘One of our main commitments here at BBC Radio 3 is to put a spotlight on contemporary composers, supporting their work and giving audiences the chance to discover it. This is true in normal times, but it is much more relevant at the moment – while the careers of so many performers and composers are challenged due to the pandemic. We are therefore delighted to host The Ivors Composer Awards as a broadcast only ceremony on our airwaves, broadcasting all this amazing new music, and showcasing the brightest and most creative musical minds on our vital contemporary UK music scene.’

The winners of these prestigious Ivor Novello Awards will be revealed on 1 December as part of a two-hour ceremony broadcast exclusively on BBC Radio 3. 

10 November 2020