2016 Shortlist unveiled for British Composer Awards

2016 Shortlist unveiled for British Composer Awards

A total of thirty-four composers have been shortlisted for this year’s British Composer Awards, spanning 33 works across 11 categories

The 2016 shortlist, announced today, is made up of 38 per cent women composers (the highest numbers in the Awards’ history), 20 per cent international composers and 50 per cent first-time nominees.

British Composer Awards are presented by BASCA and sponsored by PRS for Music; in association with BBC Radio 3 who will be providing exclusive broadcast coverage of the Awards on Hear and Now, Saturday 10 December.

Two new awards have been announced this year: The British Composer Award for Innovation and the British Composer Award for Inspiration, each category will “recognise the entire body of work of a composer to date.”

Crispin Hunt, Chairman at BASCA, said: “This year BASCA introduced a number of changes to the submissions and judging process to ensure the British Composer Awards are representative of the wealth and diversity of talent here in the UK.  The resulting shortlist announced today is a great snapshot of the creative expression that is contemporary classical, jazz and sonic art.  Add to this our two new awards, the recipients of which will be announced at the ceremony, and the 2016 British Composer Awards promises to be a great night.  Congratulations to everyone shortlisted today.”

Julia Haferkorn and Ed McKeon, Artistic Directors of the British Composer Awards for the past three years, said: “In these uncertain times the continually high quality of work by composers living in Britain is reassuring, while its diversity is truly uplifting. Inspiration comes from a wide range of sources – from brain signals to Victorian handkerchief thieves, and from London’s topographical features to mythical women. It is particularly pleasing to see that the shortlist features 50% of first time nominees, an indication that the British Composer Awards are reaching an ever widening pool of talent.”

“The shortlist reflects just how much the richer our musical life is for the international musicians and artists who have settled here and who come here to study and to explore a rich global culture. In the process, music has become less tribal and more playful, and the same goes for audiences. It’s a great time to be listening to new music in the UK.” Said Ed McKeon.

Guy Fletcher, Chairman at PRS for Music, said: “Once again we have an outstanding shortlist of innovative composers whose works have been submitted for the British Composer Awards 2016. We at PRS for Music congratulate BASCA for continuing to champion the diversity, originality and excellence of our contemporary composer community and are delighted to continue sponsoring this wonderful event.”

Alan Davey, Controller at BBC Radio 3,BBC Proms and BBC Performing Groups, commented: “Since BBC Radio 3 began broadcasting, as the Third Programme, 70 years ago, the station has always sought to champion new works and composer talent. We’re really pleased to be able to connect our millions of listeners to all the new work that is championed within the British Composer Awards. It’s a treasure trove of discovery and it’s encouraging to see the evolving diversity and continuing excellence of the Awards, with more female composers, as we work together as an industry to address diversity in classical composition. Congratulations and good luck to all who are shortlisted.”

The winners in each category will be announced at the British Film Institute, Southbank (BFI) on Tuesday 6 December 2016.

2016 British Composer Awards Shortlist:


Amateur or Young Performers

I am, I say by Kate Whitley

In Sea-Cold Lyonesse by John Pickard

The Monster in the Maze by Jonathan Dove


Chamber Ensemble

13 Vices by Brian Irvine and Jennifer Walshe

Chamber Symphony No. 2 ‘The Australian’ by Laurence Crane

Freezywater by Leo Chadburn



Ave Verum Corpus Re-Imagined by Roderick Williams

Noli Pater by James MacMillan

When Time is Broke by Cecilia McDowall


Community or Educational Project

Activating Memory by Eduardo Reck Miranda

Brass Roots; Musical Wings by Lucy Pankhurst

Into the Light by John Webb


Contemporary Jazz Composition

Karembeu's Guide to the Complete Defensive Midfielder by Joe Cutler

Our Lady of Stars | Book of Hours by Sorana Santos

With One Voice by Mark Lockheart



Alba by Rebecca Saunders

Instability by Luke Bedford

Smatter Hauler by Anna Meredith


Small Chamber

A Day at the Spa by Oliver Leith

Afference by Emily Howard

Modus Triplex by Alex Nikiporenko


Solo or Duo

Ampelos by Martin Iddon

Five Memos by Mark Bowden

Misplaced Time Refound by Richard Whalley


Sonic Art

SING SIGN: a close duet by Hanna Tuulikki

Sonorama by Claudia Molitor

Tree Radio by Magz Hall


Stage Works

Between Worlds by Tansy Davies

Nothing by David Bruce

The Cure by Harrison Birtwistle


Wind Band or Brass Band

A Richer Dust by Nigel Clarke

Au79 by Fumiko Miyachi

Just a Vibration by Shri Sriram


By Ewan Wilkie

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