BASCA (British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors) announced the winners of its 15th British Composer Awards at a ceremony at London’s British Museum on 6 December 2017.
Thirteen composers were honoured at the ceremony, which was hosted by BBC Radio 3 presenters, Andrew McGregor and Sara Mohr-Pietsch. The winning works represent the best contemporary composition which premiered in the UK in the year leading up to 31 March 2017. In addition, two composers were awarded the Gift of BASCA award in recognition of their contribution to new music.
Award-winners were as follows:
- Amateur or Young Performers – Who We Are by Kerry Andrew
- Chamber Ensemble – Skin by Rebecca Saunders
- Choral – Proclamation of the Republic by Andrew Hamilton
- Community or Educational Project – Anything but Bland by Brian Irvine
- Contemporary Jazz Composition – Muted Lines by Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian
- Orchestral – Torus (Concerto for Orchestra) by Emily Howard
- Small Chamber – In Feyre Foreste by Robin Haigh
- Solo or Duo – Inside Colour by Deborah Pritchard
- Sonic Art – Luminous Birds by Kathy Hinde
- Stage Works – 4.48 Psychosis by Philip Venables
- Wind Band or Brass Band – In Ictu Oculi by Kenneth Hesketh
- British Composer Award for Innovation – Shiva Feshareki
- British Composer Award for Inspiration in association with the Music Publishers Association – Nigel Osborne MBE
Winners with a particular interest in composing for wind instruments were:
- Robin Haigh, who won his first British Composer Award in the Small Chamber category. The judges described In Feyre Foreste, for five recorders as ‘completely refreshing with remarkable ensemble writing creating a magical narrative’.
- Kenneth Hesketh, who won in the Wind Band or Brass Band category for In Ictu Oculi, a composition for wind orchestra exploring the transience of time and disintegration of cultures, individuals and civilisations.
Crispin Hunt, Chair at BASCA, said:
‘The composers honoured this evening are testament to the UK’s thriving and vibrant new music community. Their creations challenge the status quo; push boundaries, celebrate our rich and diverse history, inspire and innovate at every turn. They demonstrate the positive impact of music on all our lives and it is an honour for BASCA to celebrate their achievements this evening.’
The British Composer Awards are presented by BASCA and sponsored by PRS for Music in association with BBC Radio 3. A programme dedicated to the British Composer Awards will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Sunday 10 December from 7.30pm.
Header photo: Robin Haigh