The winners of the British Composer Awards 2012 were announced yesterday evening at a ceremony at Goldsmith’s Hall. Individuals were recognised in 13 categories, including nine new winners and a fourth award for Sir Harrison Birtwistle in the Orchestral category. The Awards, which mark their 10th anniversary this year, are run by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) in association with BBC Radio 3, and are sponsored by PRS for Music.
This year 300 works were submitted by multiple composers and whittled down to just 13. Christian Mason, Colin Matthews, Simon Dobson, Francis Grier and Emily Howard were first-time winners, although each has received previous nominations, while 4 winners - Ray Lee, Christine Tobin, Paul Rissmann and Thomas Larcher – were completely new to the Awards. Both Thomas Adès and Jocelyn Pook were recognised for the second time, and Gabriel Jackson’s Airplane Cantata gained him his second award in the Choral category and his third win overall.
Most successful was Sir Harrison Birtwistle, who was shortlisted in both the Orchestral and Vocal categories and who won his fourth award for his Concerto for Violin and Orchestra. The composer’s works have been shortlisted in 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2009, and topped their categories in 2005 and 2007.
‘This has been a great year for British composers and BASCA is immensely proud to celebrate their success at the British Composer Awards,’ said Sarah Rodgers, Chairman of BASCA and the British Composer Awards. ‘The 10th anniversary Awards have presented an authentic reflection of the new and the established, across a spectrum of language and invention which affirms the high reputation of contemporary classical composition in the UK.’
A 10th Anniversary Concert for the British Composer Awards will take place on December 5 in the Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall, while the ceremony will be broadcast by Radio 3 on Sunday, December 9. For a full list of the 2012 winners visit www.britishcomposerawards.com.