The Ivors Composer Awards 2019 Nominations Announced


The Ivors Academy
  • The Ivors Academy reveal 33 compositions nominated at The Ivors Composer Awards, inspired by a range of themes including the Syrian refugee experience and #MeToo movement

  • World-renowned composers shortlisted include Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Sir James MacMillan, Helen Grime and Gavin Higgins

  • The awards return as The Ivors Composer Awards, having previously been called the British Composer Awards since 2003

  • For the first time, winners will be presented with Ivor Novello Awards, the pinnacle of recognition for composing and songwriting

The Ivors Academy today revealed the nominations for The Ivors Composer Awards 2019. The prestigious awards, now in their 17th year, honour the best new works by UK contemporary composers in classical, jazz and sound art. The awards celebrate the art of composition whilst also showcasing creative talent of composers and sound artists.

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

The nominated categories are judged anonymously, and are voted for and presented by music creators, representing true peer recognition for their craft. Of the 30 composers nominated, Gary Carpenter, Sir James MacMillan and Charlotte Harding, who is a first-time nominee, have all received a double nomination.

The nominated works demonstrate the vibrant and diverse range of music composed in the UK today and composers reflected on a vast array of themes in their music:

Michael J McEvoy’s Mother Medusae responds to the #MeToo movement, gender pay gap and aggressive online trolling, whilst John Pickard’s Mass in Troubled Time unfolds a narrative of a family fleeing war-torn Syria by sea. Emily Peasgood’s Never Again, was commissioned by the Sea Folk Sing Project to commemorate the 100-year anniversary since Armistice Day on 11 November 1918, and explores reconciliation, and how one moves forward after a period of profound loss.

Reflecting on the natural world Martin Green’s Aeons: A Sound Walk for Newcastle is a sound walk designed to be experienced through headphones during a half-hour walk along Hadrian’s Wall Path on the banks of the River Tyne. Whilst Charlotte Bray’s Invisible Cities for viola and piano takes inspiration from Calvino’s book of the same name and reflects on the urban environment.

The Ivors Composer Awards are sponsored by PRS for Music. The event is in association with BBC Radio 3, providing exclusive broadcast coverage.

The Ivors Academy Chair, Crispin Hunt, 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, PRS for Music CEO, commented:

“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.”

Works eligible for The Ivors Composer Awards 2019 received a UK premiere between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019 and must have been composed by a composer born or ordinarily resident in the UK.

The Ivors Composer Awards 2019 Nominees:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Celebrating the art of composition and showcasing the creative talent of contemporary composers and sound artists, the winners in each category will be announced at a ceremony at the British Museum in London on Wednesday 4 December 2019.

Presented by BBC Radio 3’s Kate Molleson and Tom Service, the ceremony will also include the presentation of an Ivor Novello Award for Innovation and an Ivor Novello Award for Lifetime Achievement, presented in association with the Music Publishers Association.

For more information visit: or follow @IvorsAcademy

October 28, 2019 6:00am ET by Pressparty  

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