The shortlist, announced today, features 33 composers across 12 categories, including Contemporary Jazz Composition, Choral, Sonic Art, Liturgical and Community or Educational Project, with 40 percent of those shortlisted being first-time nominees.
Highlighting the diversity and innovation that defines today’s musical landscape, the shortlisted works span a choral piece composed to the rhythm of skateboarders, a science fiction opera, music inspired by poetry, painting and photography, and work marking the First World War Centenary.
Composers nominated range from those in their twenties, to those in their seventies and eighties. The youngest composers nominated are Samuel Bordoli and Kate Whitley while internationally-acclaimed Sir Harrison Birtwistle, who has previously won a British Composer Award six times, and been nominated a further six, is this year’s oldest shortlisted composer.
The category with the most first-time nominees is Large Chamber, with Sinan Savaskan nominated for Many Stares through semi-nocturnal Zeiss-blink (Module 30), a piece inspired by Dadaism and Surrealism; Matthew Kaner for Mosaic, commissioned by the Royal Philharmonic Society; and Liza Lim for Winding Bodies, 3 Knots, an interpretation of an old Nordic sailor tale.
Other first-time nominees include Glyndebourne’s former Young Composer in Residence, Luke Styles, for his science fiction opera, Tycho’s Dream; Yann Seznec for Currents; Jazz composer Mike Williams; and sonic artist, Andrea Byrne, who is also an internationally-recognised fashion illustrator and artist.
The British Composer Awards are presented by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA).
The winners will be announced at the British Film Institute (BFI), Southbank, London, on 9 December 2015.
Full nominees list:
Amateur or Young Performers
Alive by Kate Whitley
In Search of Strategy by Chris Roe
Visioni Simultanee by Richard Bullen
Papaver by Dai Fujikura
Stabat Mater dolorosa by James Dillon
St Luke Passion by James MacMillan
Community or Educational Project
GRIND by Samuel Bordoli
Snapshot Songs by Stuart Hancock
Tycho’s Dream by Luke Styles
Contemporary Jazz Composition
As I Was Saying… by Django Bates
‘SAMA’ Project by Mike Williams
The Fox, The Parakeet & The Chestnut by Trish Clowes
Many stares (through semi-nocturnal Zeiss-Blink) – Module 30 by Sinan Savaskan
Mosaic by Matthew Kaner
Winding Bodies, 3 Knots by Liza Lim
John the Baptist by Michael Finnissy
Little Mass by James MacMillan
Salve Regina by Kerry Andrew
Apollinaire’s Bird by John Casken
Études-Tableaux by Ryan Wigglesworth
Responses: Sweet disorder and the carefully careless by Harrison Birtwistle
Piano Quintet by Richard Causton
String Quartet No.2 by Julian Anderson
The Ruins of Detroit by Gavin Higgins
Solo or Duo
Beat Generation Ballads by Michael Finnissy
Day Break Shadows Flee by Judith Weir
Glitschig by Sohrab Uduman
Currents by Yann Seznec
Phantom Voices by Christopher Fox
Twinkle by Andrea Byrne
Bayadere – The Ninth Life by Gabriel Prokofiev
Thebans by Julian Anderson
Things We Throw Away by Brian Irvine
Wind Band or Brass Band
A Child Like You by Andy Scott
Muckle Flugga by Rory Boyle
Sonata for Brass Band on a Prelude of Orlando Gibbons by Robert Saxton