Alumni nominated for British Composer Awards

Alumni Sally Beamish, Ben Gaunt, Andrew Hamilton, Emily Howard and the late Sir Peter Maxwell Davies have been nominated for British Composer Awards.

Announced today (Wednesday 25 October), this year’s shortlist includes 33 works across 11 categories, incorporating contemporary jazz composition, choral, orchestral, sonic art and small chamber.

Sally Beamish (pictured above), who studied viola at the College in the 1970s, appears twice with Merula Perpetua in the Solo and Duo category and The Tempest in the Stage Works category; Ben Gaunt, a 2007 graduate, is also nominated for the Stage Works award with Empty Hand, Peaceful Mind; 1999 alumnus Andrew Hamilton is up for a choral award with Proclamation of the Republic; Emily Howard, an RNCM Senior Lecturer in Composition who graduated in 2004, is shortlisted in the Orchestral section for Torus (Concerto for Orchestra); and the late Sir Peter Maxwell Davies (below) appears in the Amateur or Young Performers category with The Hogboon. 2017 also includes former RNCM Principal Edward Gregson, whose Four Études is up for Wind Band or Brass Band award.

Crispin Hunt, Chairman at BASCA, said: ‘Britain is home to a flourishing and bold community of enlightened and reformist contemporary composers, whose work continues to accelerate music’s role in society. The works nominated here speak to politics, ecology, art and history and somehow manage to distil the disorder about us into form. It’s inspiring to note a significant uplift in submissions this year, especially to see so many first-time nominees and young composers shortlisted – further testimony to the pioneering musical spirit of today.’

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony at the British Museum on Wednesday 6 December 2017. In addition to the 11 award categories, two composers will be honoured with a Gift of BASCA Award in recognition of their contributions to contemporary music throughout their careers, with one award for Inspiration (presented in association with the Music Publishers Association) and one for Innovation.

25 October 2017