PRS Foundation announces New Music Biennial 2019

PRS Foundation has revealed the 19 new works selected for the New Music Biennial 2019 that will offer a snapshot of UK contemporary music across two major festivals, on air and online.

Following 2017’s successful festival at Hull City of Culture and London’s Southbank Centre, New Music Biennial returns with a programme of new and recently written music from a range of artists.

Highlights from this year include two BBC Concert Orchestra collaborations; one with poet, playwright, and spoken word artist Kate Tempest, and the other with turntablist Shiva Feshareki.

Elsewhere, many of the commissions explore the complexity of modern identities, from work that examines young identities in modern cities by rising jazz star Sarah Tandy, to Sam Eastmond’s study of what it means to be Jewish and British in Brit-ish and Sona Jobarteh, Arun Ghosh, Rolf Hind and Khyam Allami’s experiments with the musical traditions of east and west.

The initiative presents and commissions works of no longer than 15 minutes across a variety of genres, from classical, chamber music, jazz, folk and electronica to gamelan, oud and organ.

Much of the work has an experimental spirit, like Klein’s ballet for teenage boys, Forest Swords & Immix Ensemble’s sonic city landscape, and Clare M Singer’s acoustic electronica.

The winning compositions were selected by a panel of judges, chaired by BBC Radio 3 controller Alan Davey and including Vanessa Reed, chief executive officer, PRS Foundation, and Gillian Moore CBE, director of music, Southbank Centre.

The New Music Biennial works will be performed over two weekends on 5 to 7 July 2019 at London’s Southbank Centre, and 12 to 14 July in Hull.

The festival will also be broadcast on BBC Radio 3, and available to download by NMC Recordings after it has concluded.

Vanessa Reed, chief executive officer, PRS Foundation said: ‘The UK is home to an extraordinary range of exceptional composers. Our New Music Biennial gives more people a chance to experience their music as part of a free weekend marathon which takes audiences on a journey through diverse locations and sounds.’

Gillian Moore CBE, director of music, Southbank Centre added: ‘We’re thrilled to once again be part of New Music Biennial, whose commitment to quality, innovation, and accessibility mirrors that of our own, and we can’t wait to welcome this strong list of winners to Southbank Centre in July to inspire audiences, old and new, with an entirely free weekend of the best new music being written today.’

For more information, please visit