Alumni Shortlisted for British Composer Awards

Alumni Andy Scott, Gavin Higgins and Sir Harrison Birtwistle have been shortlisted for a 2015 British Composer Award.

The shortlist, announced today (29 October), features 33 composers across 12 categories, including Contemporary Jazz Composition, Choral, Orchestral, Sonic Art and Small Chamber, with 40 per cent of those shortlisted being first-time nominees.

Highlighting the diversity and innovation that defines today’s musical landscape, the 36 shortlisted works span a choral piece composed to the rhythm of skateboarders; collaborations across the creative arts; a science fiction opera; music inspired by poetry, painting and photography, as well as by history’s greatest composers and mythology; and work marking the First World War Centenary.

Andy Scott

Saxophonist Andy (pictured above), who graduated in 1989 and is an RNCM Tutor in Saxophone, has been shortlisted in the Wind Band or Brass Band Category for A Child Like You, while 2005 alumnus Gavin (pictured below), who studied tenor horn at the College, appears in the Small Chamber Category for his piece, The Ruins of Detriot. This year’s nominations also include Royal Manchester College of Music alumnus Sir Harrison Birtwistle, whose Responses: Sweet Disorder and the Carefully Careless is in the running for the Orchestral Category award.

Stephen McNeff, Chairman of BASCA, said: ‘This year’s British Composer Awards sees us reaping the benefits of our new digital application process and a wonderful 33% rise in submissions. This means that the range and depth of submissions is enriched and we are reaching out across our profession to present a shortlist that reflects a wider, truer and more diverse picture of contemporary classical and jazz than ever before.’

Gavin Higgins

Julia Haferkorn and Ed McKeon, Artistic Directors of the British Composer Awards, added: ‘We’re particularly pleased at the number of composers represented on the shortlist for the first time. The musical works cover a wide spectrum – there’s truly music there for all open-eared listeners. We wouldn’t expect people to like and admire everything: that’s precisely why we rely on the generosity of so many composers, musicians and promoters from all over the country to come together on panels to make these difficult choices. So whether you’re moved or not by any particular work, we hope you will spend time giving all the works a hearing.’

The British Composer Awards are presented by BASCA and sponsored by PRS for Music. This year’s Ceremony will take place on Wednesday 9 December at the British Film Institute, London. BBC Radio 3 will broadcast a special programme dedicated to event on Hear and Now at 10pm on Saturday 12 December.


29 October 2015