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British Composer Awards 2018 Winners Revealed

The UK’s fourteen foremost composers have been announced at the 16th British Composer Awards, hosted by BBC Radio 3 presenters Andrew McGregor and Sara Mohr-Pietsch at the British Museum in London. 

The winning works represent the best contemporary composition that premiered in the UK in the year leading up to 31 March 2018. In addition to the twelve category winners, two composers were presented with Gift of BASCA Awards in recognition of their contribution to new music. The evening also saw a powerful performance from musicians at the Royal Academy of Music for soprano and three clarinets, dedicated to one of the most influential British composers and conductors of his generation, Oliver Knussen, who died in July.

Celebrating the art of composition and showcasing the creative talent of contemporary composers and sound artists, the British Composer Awards are presented by BASCA and sponsored by PRS for Music. The event is in association with BBC Radio 3 providing exclusive broadcast coverage.

British Composer Awards 2018 Winners:

Amateur or Young Performers
Microscopic Dances by Oliver Searle

Chamber Ensemble
Libro di fiammelle e ombre by James Weeks

In the Land of Uz by Judith Weir

Community or Educational Project
The Umbrella by Liam Taylor-West

Jazz Composition for Large Ensemble
Afronaut by Cassie Kinoshi

Jazz Composition for Small Ensemble
Close to Ecstasy by Simon Lasky

Deep Time by Harrison Birtwistle

Small Chamber
Unbreathed by Rebecca Saunders

Solo or Duo
The Harmonic Canon by Dominic Murcott

Sonic Art
Halfway to Heaven by Emily Peasgood

Stage Works
Shorelines by Oliver Coates

Wind Band or Brass Band
The Turing Test by Simon Dobson

British Composer Award for Innovation
Trevor Wishart

British Composer Award for Inspiration in association with the Music Publishers Association
Sally Beamish

Crispin Hunt, Chair at BASCA, said: “The passion, creativity and dedication to music demonstrated by this year’s winners is deeply inspiring and humbling. A record year for submissions, the new music landscape in Britain proves itself time and again to be more vibrant, dynamic and vivacious than ever, engaging with a diverse range of ideas and audiences. This is a hugely exciting time to be a creator or appreciator of new music.”

Nigel Elderton, PRS Chairman, said: “Congratulations from all of us at PRS for Music to the well-deserved winners from this year’s British Composer Awards, and thank you for the fantastic music you create which continues to enrich our lives.”

BBC Radio 3 will broadcast a programme dedicated to the British Composer Awards at 9.20pm on Sunday 9th December. For more information on this year’s British Composer Awards visit www.britishcomposerawards.com or follow @ComposerAwards.