The Ivors Composer Awards 2019 nominations announced

The Ivors Academy have revealed 33 nominated compositions, with shortlisted composers including Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Sir James MacMillan, Helen Grimes and Gavin Higgins.

The Ivor Composer Awards are sponsored by PRS for Music and the event is in association with BBC Radio 3, who will provide exclusive broadcast coverage.

The awards return renamed The Ivors Composer Awards, previously known as the British Composer Awards, and the nominated compositions cover a range of issues from the Syrian refugee experience to the #MeToo movement.

The awards are now in their 17th year, and honour the best new works by UK contemporary composers in classical, jazz and sound art.

Eligible works must have received a UK premiere between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019 and have been created by a composer born or ordinarily resident in the UK.

The 33 individual works have been nominated across 11 categories including Orchestral, Solo or Duo, Sound Art, Chamber Ensemble and Amateur or Young Performers.

The event will be presented by BBC Radio 3’s Kate Molleson and Tom Service and will take place on Wednesday 4 December 2019 at the British Museum in London.

Crispin Hunt, chair, The Ivors Academy, says: ‘We’re incredibly excited to honour a wide range of phenomenal talent, all of whom have demonstrated the highest quality of composition craft in their fields, engaging with and challenging the world around them.’

Andrea C. Martin, chief executive, PRS for Music, comments: ‘I am delighted that we are once again supporting The Ivors Composer Awards, celebrating the diversity and vibrancy of our contemporary composer community. Congratulations to all those nominated, your works show the range of talent and creativity flourishing in the UK.’

The Ivors Composer Awards 2019 nominees are as follows:

Solo or Duo
Instrumental or vocal music performed by one or two players or voices

Invisible Cities by Charlotte Bray
Keyboard Engine by Sir Harrison Birtwistle
Partials by Barnaby Martin

Small Chamber
Three to five instruments for one player or voice per part

Leafleoht by James Weeks
Meeting the Universe Halfway by Matthew Sergeant
String Quartet No.3 ‘Hana no hanataba’ by Julian Anderson

Chamber Ensemble
Six or more instruments or voices written for one player or voice per part, except works written specifically for the voice

Flute Concerto by Dai Fujikura
Mondrian by Gary Carpenter
Sapiens by Mark Bowden

Jazz Composition For Small Ensemble

Up to eight instruments or voices that contain interactive improvisation as an essential element

Mother Medusae by Michael J McEvoy
Quadriga in 5 by Simon Thacker
There is a Crack in Everything by Alison Rayner

Jazz Composition For Large Ensemble
Nine or more instruments or voices that contain interactive improvisation as an essential element

Jumping In by Laura Jurd
On Marsden Moor by Jonny Mansfield
This Much I Know Is True by Mark Lockheart

A cappella or accompanies, except works for choir and orchestra

Mass in Troubled Times by John Pickard
O Virgo Prudentissima by Sir James MacMillan
Pocket Universe by Geoff Hannan


Including works for choir and orchestra

The Book of Miracles (Trombone Concerto) by Gavin Higgins
Uncoiling the River by Kenneth Hesketh
Woven Space by Helen Grime

Stage Works

Works specifically written for the stage, including opera, dance and musical theatre

Cave by Tansy Davies
Harriet (‘Scenes in the life of Harriet Tubman’) by Hilda Paredes
Them by Charlotte Harding

Sound Art
Installations, sculptural, electroacoustic and audience-interactive work or non-concert formats

Aeons: A Sound Walk for Newcastle by Martin Green
Aurora by James Hamilton
Regretfully Yours, Ongoing by Neil Luck

Community Or Educational Project
Works demonstrating a composer’s work in community engagement alongside compositional craft

All the Hills and Vales Along by Sir James MacMillan
Convo by Charlotte Harding
Never Again by Emily Peasgood

Amateur Or Young Performers
Works for voluntary, amateur or youth choirs, ensembles and orchestras

Agreed by Howard Moody
Ghost Songs by Gary Carpenter
The Salamander and the Moonraker by Edward Gregson