New winners honoured at British Composer Awards

The British Composer Awards were announced last night, in a London ceremony that saw Harrison Birtwistle become the most awarded composer in BCA history.

The celebrated composer took home his fifth BCA, winning the Instrumental Solo or Duo category for Gigue Machine.

Of the 13 categories recognised by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors, nine were awarded to new winners.

Among these new winners were Nigel Clarke’s cornet concerto Mysteries of the Horizon, which won the Wind Band or Brass Band prize; Matthew Martin’s I Saw the Lord, winning the Liturgical category; and Chris Weaver and Ed Baxter’s No Such Object, performed on bespoke handmade electrical equipment, which took the Sonic Art prize.

Japanese composer Toshio Hosokawa received the International Award for his orchestral work Woven Dreams.

British Composer Awards committee chair, Sarah Rodgers, said: ‘One of the achievements BASCA is particularly proud of is that the British Composers Awards, year on year, brings to light rising composers and supports them in taking the next step in their careers.’

The awards are presented by BASCA and sponsored by PRS for Music; the ceremony took place at at London’s Goldsmiths’ Hall on 3 December.

Guy Fletcher, chairman of PRS for Music, said: ‘Tonight’s new generation of British composers has been truly impressive and I am excited to see such breadth of talent and creativity on the winners’ shortlist. The British Composer Awards provide a vital showcase for music that is part of our cultural fabric and enjoyed the world over. PRS for Music is proud to sponsor such an important event.’

BBC Radio 3 will broadcast the event on the Hear and Now programme on 7 December.

Photo: Chris Weaver and Ed Baxter receive their BCA 2013 © Mark Allan