British Composer Awards shortlist announced

The 2018 British Composer Awards (BCA) shortlist includes a work created for a recovery orchestra, an opera that unearths history’s forgotten female composers and a piece inspired by Indian poetry. The awards will be handed out on 4 December at the British Museum in London.

To select the shortlist BCA used an anonymous judging process for the first time. Of those nominated, about one third are women, and more than 50% are aged under 40. It was also a record year for submissions, with 560 received by BCA.

Notable works are Conall Gleeson’s Solace (Community and Education), which had its world premiere given by the New Note Orchestra – whose members are all recovering addicts; The World’s Wife by Tom Green (Stage Works), which includes musical quotes from Clara Schumann and Barbara Strozzi; and Oliver Searle’s Microscopic Dances (Amateur or Young Performers), which was created with inclusive instrumentation that allows both disabled and non-disabled musicians to play it.

As for famous names, the late Oliver Knussen is nominated for O Hototogisu! (Chamber Ensemble); Thomas Adès’ The Exterminating Angel is among the Stage Works selections; and Roxanna Panufnik gets a nod for Unending Love (Choral), which takes its text from a poem by 19th century Indian writer Rabindranath Tagore.

The British Composer Awards are presented by BASCA and sponsored by PRS for Music. The awards ceremony will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on 9 December.

Commented BASCA chair Crispin Hunt: “In this record-breaking year for entries, BASCA is delighted to celebrate the breadth of works for the BCA, representing a wealth of UK talentAs ever it’s hugely exciting and inspiring to see the fresh passion represented by our first-time nominees.”

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