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British Composer Awards

2008 British Composer Awards Shortlist announced.

This year an impressive 268 submissions were received for works premiered between 1 April 2007 and 31 March 2008.  The judging panels are made up of more than sixty music professionals and have chosen three works in each category to make up this year’s shortlists.

Significantly the age range for the nominees has continued to drop and gives the classical community every reason to have faith that the next generation of top UK composers are already doing some great work.  This is largely due to the open nomination policy which ensures the selection of works accepted and judged are extremely diverse, featuring established composers such as Judith Bingham, James MacMillan and Elliot Carter alongside younger composers including John Holland, Luke Bedford and Joe Cutler.

Sarah Rodgers, Concert Chair of the British Academy of Composers & Songwriters, comments:

“Entries for the Awards this year were one of the strongest sets we have received and this is reflected in the list of nominees.  An exceptional year and by no means dominated by familiar names.  This is the British Composer Awards working at its very best, discovering emerging talent alongside established creativity."

The British Composer Awards are presented by the British Academy of Composers & Songwriters in association with BBC Radio 3 and sponsored by the Performing Right Society.

Roger Wright, Controller of BBC Radio 3 and Director of the BBC Proms, says:

“We are delighted to be associated with the British Composer Awards for the sixth year running.  The Academy has made real strides in highlighting the richness and diversity of composition in this country, a scene which BBC Radio 3 uniquely supports with broadcasts and performances, and as the world’s most significant commissioner of new music.”

Ellis Rich, Chairman of PRS (Performing Right Society), sponsors of the Awards, comments:

“The wealth of talent represented by these nominations underpins how vibrant and important the music scene is in the UK. We are proud to be the sponsor of these awards and continue to work hard for all the songwriters, composers and music publishers we represent.”

The winners will be announced at the British Composer Awards on Tuesday 2 December at the Law Society, London and will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Wednesday 3 December at 7pm.

2008 British Composer Awards Shortlist


Joe Cutler - Folk Music
Jonathan Harvey - Sprechgesang
Dave Price - Lee’s Game

James MacMillan - Tenebrae Responsories
Colin Matthews - Alphabicycle Order
Michael Zev Gordon - This Night

Community or Educational Project
No Award

Instrumental Solo or Duo *
Judith Bingham - Fantasia (from The Lost Works of  Paganini)
Patrick Nunn - Transilient Fragments
Jonathan Pitkin - Con Spirito

International Award
Elliott Carter - Three Illusions for Orchestra
Hans Werner Henze - Sebastian im Traum
Kaija Saariaho - Mirage

Judith Bingham - Missa Brevis “Awake My Soul” with  accompanying anthem “The Shepherd”
James MacMillan - 4 Motets from “The Strathclyde Motets”
Howard Skempton - Three Motets

Making Music Award
Alexander Campkin - Counting My Numberless Fingers
John Holland - Green Sky
Cecilia McDowall - A Canterbury Mass

Luke Bedford - Wreathe
Rolf Hind - Maya-Sesha
Mark-Anthony Turnage - Ceres

Sonic Art **
Ed Hughes - Auditorium
Terry Mann - The Bells of Paradise
Janek Schaefer - Extended Play

Stage Works
Jonathan Dove - The Adventures of Pinocchio
James MacMillan - The Sacrifice
Edward Rushton - The Shops

Joe Cutler - Akhmatova Fragments
Simon Holt - Sueños
Howard Skempton - The Moon is Flashing

Wind Band or Brass Band
Adam Gorb - Adrenaline City
Gavin Higgins - A Forest Symphony
Joseph Phibbs - The Spiralling Night

* The winner of the Award for Instrumental Solo or Duo will receive £1,000 from the Worshipful Company of Musicians towards a new commission
** The winner of the Award for Sonic Art will receive £5,000 from the PRS Foundation towards a new commission or towards a project which contributes to the furtherance of the composer’s career