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As part of this year’s British Composer Awards, hosted by BBC Radio 3 presenters Andrew McGregor and Sara Mohr-Pietsch, we were delighted to present two composers with Gift of BASCA Awards. These were given in recognition of contributions to new music throughout their careers.

Sally Beamish was presented with the British Composer Award for Inspiration, presented in association with the Music Publishers Association, in recognition of her long and distinguished career as a composer, violist and pianist. Sally is a multi-award-winning composer, who has composed a huge volume of music throughout her career, including for orchestra, chamber, film, theatre, ballet, and compositions for amateurs. She is currently composer-in-residence at the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, and co-directs the St. Magnus Composers’ Course in Orkney, where her wisdom and experience as a mentor has supported dozens of composers.

Ahead of the ceremony, we had a chat with Sally to find out about her career to date and what advice she can offer to composers.

How do you feel about receiving the British Composer Award for Inspiration from the composer community?

“This means so much to me – I am absolutely delighted and honoured to be considered an inspiration – having gained so much from the composers who generously gave me their time, support and advice when I was starting out. I’d like to mention in particular Martin Dalby, Oliver Knussen and Peter Maxwell-Davies, who have all recently died, and who were hugely important and inspirational to me.”

What has been the most pivotal moment in your career to date?

“Moving to Scotland. Being in a smaller, but vibrant, cultural scene opened up many possibilities in terms of collaborations and projects. And above all, the music and landscape were a revelation.”

What sparked your decision to develop a career as a composer, in addition to your existing profession as a violist?

“I always considered myself a composer, but two things combined to galvanise me into composing full-time – the theft of my viola in a burglary in 1989, and the birth of my first child in the same year. Composing is the perfect career for a parent as it is flexible. An Arts Council Composers Bursary gave me that extra encouragement to start a new life as a composer in Scotland.”

You’ve said the concerto is a continuing inspiration, what is it about this form of composition that you find so fascinating?

“When I was about 9, my mother, who taught me violin, gave me a Vivaldi concerto to learn and explained what a concerto was. I loved the idea of a soloist telling a story and interacting with orchestra and audience. I still do. The form has given me many opportunities to create work for specific performers, who often come with their own ideas for what kind of piece it might be.”

You have co-directed the annual St Magnus Composers’ Course in Orkney for a number of years. What drew you to be involved and why do you feel this setting in particular is so special?

“I have loved Orkney since I went there as Peter Maxwell Davies’ assistant for his courses on Hoy in the 90s. It became a special place for my family and hardly a year has gone by when I haven’t visited. The islands have a kind of magic which is hard to describe. When Alasdair Nicolson invited me to co-direct the composers’ course, I jumped at the chance – though with some trepidation, as I hadn’t done any regular teaching, and had never studied composition myself. But I have loved meeting the composers who come on the course – all ages and all backgrounds – and they always have something to give back.”

What advice would you give to an aspiring composer starting out today?

“Stick around performers – and perform yourself. If you don’t play an instrument, sing, or conduct your own work. I am learning a great deal about my own writing now I am playing again. And my commissions still often come via musicians I worked with when I was a full time viola player.”

Where do you personally find creative inspiration?

“From performers; and also from literature, art, theatre, and the natural world. Scottish traditional music has been very important in developing my voice, as has jazz. But sometimes, it just feels as if it’s the deadline (and fear!) that drives me on. Being creative doesn’t always feel creative – often it feels as if you’re just churning out notes – but afterwards you find that something else has been happening at a deeper level.”

A BBC Radio 3 exclusive broadcast of The British Composer Awards 2018 is available to listen to on BBC Sounds here.

We are pleased to announce the call for works across six nominated categories for the 64th Ivor Novello Awards are now open. The Ivors 2019 will take place on Thursday 23rd May 2019 at London’s Grosvenor House.

The Ivors celebrate, honour and reward excellence in British and Irish songwriting and composing. BASCA invites eligible submissions in the following categories, across song and album releases, film, television and video games scores:

Best Song Musically and Lyrically
Best Contemporary Song
Best Album
Best Original Film Score
Best Television Soundtrack
Best Original Video Game Score

Anyone can enter a work, including the songwriter or composer. To be eligible, works must have a British or Irish writing contribution of at least 33.3% and have been commercially released in the UK during the calendar year ending 31st December 2018.

This year all works will be judged anonymously and entrants must remove any reference to the songwriters or composers who created the work on submitted materials. The Ivors represents peer recognition with all categories judged by members of the music writing community.

The Ivors Rules and Guidelines should be viewed on its dedicated award entry site here, prior to entering eligible works.

Deadline for entries is Thursday 7th February 2019.

The ceremony will also see songwriters and composers presented with Gift of The Academy awards, recognising outstanding contributions to UK music.

Key dates for The Ivors 2019:

Monday 10th December 2018 – Call for entries opens

Thursday 24th January 2019 – Tickets on sale

Friday 7th February 2019 – Deadline for entries

Week commencing 22nd April 2019 – The Ivors 2019 nominations announced

Thursday 23rd May 2019 – The 64th Ivor Novello Awards

The 64th Ivor Novello Awards are presented by BASCA in association with PRS for Music. For more information on The Ivors please visit www.theivors.com

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

Choral
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

Orchestral
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.

Robert Ashcroft to step down as Chief Executive of PRS for Music in 2019

Robert Ashcroft has announced that he will step down as Chief Executive of PRS for Music on the tenth anniversary of his appointment, at the end of December 2019.

Under Ashcroft’s leadership, PRS for Music has launched three industry joint ventures: ICE, Network of Music Partners (NMP) and PPL PRS Ltd, each designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of collective rights management.

Robert has also played a major role in the adaptation of European copyright law to the Internet era. His 2010 ‘hubs strategy paper’ was central to the 2014 European Collective Rights Management Directive, while it was his argument about the ‘transfer of value’ that convinced the European Commission that user-upload platforms and other social media should be made liable for copyright.

Robert Ashcroft, Chief Executive, PRS for Music, said: “Working for PRS has been by far the most compelling and worthwhile thing I have ever done. It has been a privilege to work on behalf of our members and I would like to thank them, our board, and above all my colleagues, for their support over the years.”

Nigel Elderton, PRS Chairman, said: “Robert has given the organisation a decade of stability and growth, making it the considerable success it is today. He should be rightly proud of his legacy and the health in which he leaves PRS for Music. On behalf of all our members, staff and industry partners I would like to thank Robert for his service and the positive impact he has had.  We wish him every success in the future.”

Crispin Hunt, BASCA Chair, said: “Robert Ashcroft is a visionary leader who has helped guide music across some very wild and unchartered territory. His legacy will likely be felt as widely across its future landscape. A place where ‘value’ will hopefully be ‘transferred’ back to ©reators via robust and effective collective rights –  in no small part due to him.”

                           Composer Debbie Wiseman receives her OBE

 

In the Queen’s Birthday Honour’s list, June 2018, BASCA member Debbie Wiseman was awarded the OBE for services to music.

Debbie is Classic FM’s Composer in Residence and her latest album “The Glorious Garden”, a collaboration with Alan Titchmarsh, topped the UK Classical Chart for three weeks.

In a ceremony at Buckingham Palace on November 16th, Wiseman was presented with her award by Prince Charles.

Also presented with her award that day was Grace Ladoja, founder of Metallic Inc and manager of UK grime star and Ivor Novello award winner, Skepta. She had  been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s 2018 New Year Honours list.

 

 

BASCA in association with PRS for Music announce that the 64th Ivor Novello Awards will take place on Thursday 23rd May 2019 at the Grosvenor House, London from 11.30am to 4.30pm.

The Ivors celebrate, honour and reward excellence in songwriting and composing and are judged by the music writing community.

The 64th Ivor Novello Awards will recognise works released in the UK in 2018. They will also honour songwriters and composers with gift of BASCA awards, which recognise outstanding contributions to UK music.

The Ivors 2019 timetable is as follows:

Monday 10th December 2018:
– The Ivors 2019 Rules and Guidelines Published.
– BASCA invites entries, across six nominated categories for song and album releases, film, television and video game scores.

Thursday 24th January 2019
– Tickets on Sale

Thursday 7th February 2019
– Entries close across six nominated categories for song and album releases, film, television and video game scores.

Week commencing 22nd April 2019
– The Ivors 2019 Nominations Announced

Thursday 23rd May 2019
– The 64th Ivor Novello Awards

 

For more information on The Ivors please visit www.theivors.com

Contact:
Fran Matthews or Cindy Truong
awards@basca.org.uk
020 7636 2929

 

Spotify is attempting to provide more info to publishers to help them understand their payouts better by launching a new Publishing Analytics platform.

According to the official announcement, Spotify Publishing Analytics “will give publishers daily streaming statistics for the works and recordings they have identified, including playlist performance, as well as the ability to view data for each of the songwriters on their roster,”

Spotify’s Jules Parker, Head of Publishing Relations & Services, EMEA and APAC, said “One of our core missions at Spotify is to enable creators the opportunity to live off their art…the publishing community is integral in supporting the songwriters that create the music we love. With more information, publishers are empowered to make the most of the opportunities the global reach of Spotify provides, and the more information we can share with each other, the more opportunities we can help create for songwriters.”

 

The best new works by Britain’s contemporary composers have been announced today, with thirty-seven composers nominated for the 2018 British Composer Awards across 12 categories including orchestral, jazz, sonic art, chamber ensemble, stage works and wind or brass band.

Highlighting the diversity and vibrancy of contemporary composition in the UK today, the 2018 British Composer Awards nominees include: numerous works demonstrating the ways in which today’s composers give a voice to marginalised groups in society; compositions inspired by poetry and other artforms such as visual art and literature; and works that breathe new life and meaning into history.

Nominees giving a voice to disenfranchised groups in society include: a work by the world’s only ‘recovery’ orchestra (Conall Gleeson), composed and performed by an orchestra in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction; an opera reviving forgotten music by history’s overlooked female composers (Tom Green); and music composed for disabled performers (Oliver SearleLiam Taylor-West).

Compositions taking inspiration from poetry and other artforms include: a piece drawing on world music and Indian poetry to build musical bridges between cultures (Roxanna Panufnik); a reimagining of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner to apply to refugees in the world today, first performed by children who are refugees themselves (Dee Isaacs); and a brass band composition based on coal mining strikes and inspired by poet Mervyn Peake (Gavin Higgins).

Nominated composers reinterpreting and breathing new life into history include: a brass band piece inspired by the life of Alan Turing (Simon Dobson); an orchestral work exploring the notion of ‘Deep Time’ through music (Harrison Birtwistle); a sonic art installation celebrating the rediscovery of a forgotten Baptist Burial Ground (Emily Peasgood); and a full-length string concert inspired by the North Sea Flood of 1953 (Oliver Coates).

A record-breaking year for entries, 2018 saw over 560 submissions, demonstrating the volume of quality new music being composed and debuted in the UK. This year all categories have been judged anonymously for the first time, and a second jazz category has been added. In 2018 51 per cent of the composer are aged under 40, and are first-time nominees.

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.

Crispin HuntChair at BASCA, said: “In this record-breaking year for entries, BASCA is delighted to celebrate the breadth of works for the British Composer Awards, representing a wealth of UK talent. As ever it’s hugely exciting and inspiring to see the fresh passion represented by our first-time nominees. Congratulations to everyone nominated today.”

Nigel EldertonPRS for Music Chairman, commented: “I am delighted for PRS for Music to once again be supporting the British Composer Awards, with its impeccable record of recognising the best contemporary classical works. It is inspiring to see that over half of this year’s nominated composers are aged under 40 and first-time nominees, showing that the UK classical music landscape is truly continuing to flourish. Congratulations to you all and I look forward to celebrating with you at the ceremony in December.”

Alan DaveyController BBC Radio 3, added: “Broadcasting the outstanding work of composers from across the UK – throughout our schedule – is an intrinsic part of our role to connect audiences with remarkable music and culture. We look forward to sharing highlights of this year’s awards and some of these marvellous new compositions on the station.”

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 Tuesday 4 December 2018.

Presented by BBC Radio 3’s Andrew McGregor and Sara Mohr-Pietsch, the ceremony will include a performance in memory of nominated composer, Oliver Knussen and the presentation of two Gift of BASCA awards – the British Composer Award for Innovation and the British Composer Award for Inspiration, presented in association with the Music Publishers Association.

British Composer Awards 2018 Nominees:

Amateur or Young Performers
Works for voluntary, amateur or youth choirs and ensembles
• Fiery Tales by Richard Bullen
• Microscopic Dances by Oliver Searle
• The Caretaker’s Guide to the Orchestra by Jeremy Holland-Smith

Chamber Ensemble
Six or more instruments or voices written for one player or voice per part
• Libro di fiammelle e ombre by James Weeks
• O Hototogisu! by Oliver Knussen
• Tanz/haus : triptych 2017 by James Dillon

Choral
A cappella or accompanied, except works for choir and orchestra
• In the Land of Uz by Judith Weir
• Mielo by Raymond Yiu
• Unending Love by Roxanna Panufnik

Community or Educational Project
Works demonstrating a composer’s work in community engagement alongside compositional craft
• Solace by Conall Gleeson
• The Rime of the Ancient Mariner- a retelling for our times by Dee Isaacs
• The Umbrella by Liam Taylor-West

Jazz Composition for Large Ensemble
Nine or more instruments or voices that contain interactive improvisation as an essential element
• Afronaut by Cassie Kinoshi
• Rituals by Matt London
• Time by Finlay Panter

Jazz Composition for Small Ensemble
Up to eight instruments or voices that contain interactive improvisation as an essential element
• Close to Ecstasy by Simon Lasky
• Vegetarians by Ivo Neame
• You’ve Got to Play the Game by Johnny Richards

Orchestral
• Deep Time by Harrison Birtwistle
• Recorder Concerto by Graham Fitkin
• The Imaginary Museum by Julian Anderson

Small Chamber
Three to five instruments or voices written for one player or voice per part
• Chant by Charlotte Bray
• Lines Between by Robert Laidlow
• Unbreathed by Rebecca Saunders

Solo or Duo
Instrumental or vocal music performed by one or two players or voices
• A Damned Mob of Scribbling Women by Laura Bowler
• Belmont Chill by William Marsey
• The Harmonic Canon by Dominic Murcott

Sonic Art
Sound art installations, electronic music and works with live electronics
• Halfway to Heaven by Emily Peasgood
• The Otheroom by Rolf Wallin
• Two Machines by Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian and Hugh Jones as ‘Crewdson & Cevanne’

Stage Works
Works specifically written for the stage, including opera, dance and musical theatre
• Shorelines by Oliver Coates
• The Exterminating Angel by Thomas Adès
• The World’s Wife by Tom Green

Wind Band or Brass Band
• Dark Arteries Suite by Gavin Higgins
• Mindscapes by Lucy Pankhurst
• The Turing Test by Simon Dobson

Works eligible for the 2018 British Composer Awards must have received a UK premiere between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018. Works are also composed by a composer born in the UK or ordinarily resident in the UK.

For more information visit the British Composer Awards website

New Industry Figures reveal surge in exports, recorded music and jobs in record £4.5BN boost to economy

  • UK Music’s 2018 Measuring Music report reveals UK music industry exports rose by 7% to a record £2.6 billion last year
  • Big rises in recorded music and publishing revenues help fuel export growth
  • Music industry jobs rose by 3% to a new high of 145,815 people
  • The UK music industry grew by 2% in 2017

The UK music industry grew by 2% in 2017 to contribute a record £4.5 billion to the economy – up by £100 million on 2016, a new report by UK Music reveals today.

UK Music published the findings of its Measuring Music 2018 report today (Thursday November 1) to highlight the scale of the industry’s contribution to the economy.

The flagship annual economic study by UK Music and its members showed that the music industry continued to grow last year across almost every sector.

Among the big success stories were the record music sector which saw a rise of 9% to £700 million and music publishing which grew by 7% to £505 million in 2017.

Successful British acts including Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa, Rag’N’Bone Man, Stormzy, Harry Styles and Depeche Mode helped exports of UK music soar in 2017 by 7% to £2.6 billion.

Millions of fans who poured into concerts ranging from giant festivals to grassroots music venues generated a contribution of live music to the UK’s economy of around £1 billion (£991 million).

UK Music measures the health of the music business each year by collating data from our partners about the industry’s contribution in goods and services, known as Gross Value Added (GVA), to the UK’s national income or Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  Exports are part of this contribution.

KEY POINTS FROM MEASURING MUSIC:

(All figures are the music industry’s GVA to the economy in 2017 + the percentage rise on 2016 figures)

  • Whole sector’s contribution to economy – £4.5bn (+2%)
    • Musicians, composers, songwriters and lyricists – £2bn (+1%)
    • Recorded music – £700m (+9%)
    • Music publishing – £505m (+7%)
  • Exports (whole sector) – £2.6bn (+7%)
    • Recorded music – £468m (+11%)
    • Music publishing (exports) – £719m (+11%)
    • Music representatives (exports) £348m (+9%) (see footnote)
  • Employment (whole sector) – 145,815(+3%)

UK Music chief executive Michael Dugher welcomed the figures, but delivered a warning about the need to nurture the music industry’s talent pipeline.

Mr Dugher said: “British music brings enjoyment to millions and makes a massive contribution to the UK plc. I’m really proud of the fact that these figures show once again that when it comes to music, we in the UK are very, very good at what we do.

“We are a global leader in music and we continue to grow faster than other parts of the British economy and to punch well above our weight.

“Music exports are a particular British success story and organisations like PRS for Music and PPL, that help ensure creators and investors see a return for their work, have also performed particularly strongly in 2017.

“These figures show what can be achieved when we choose to back the British music industry.

“Every child from every background should have the opportunity to access music, to experience its transformative power and to try out a career in the industry if they want to – regardless of whether or not they have access to the Bank of Mum and Dad.

“That’s why we need further government support to help us ensure we produce the next generation of world-leading British talent by backing music in education, protecting grassroots music venues and making sure that creators are properly rewarded for their work. If we do that, we can be even more successful in the future.”

UK Music chairman Andy Heath said: “We are fortunate that levels of creativity in the music industry are really promising at the moment.

“It is a fantastic time for music-makers and for consumers – both in the variety of music on offer and the different ways that people can choose to listen to music.

“However, there are challenges.  It is difficult in the digital age to break new talent because of the sheer quantity of music out there in a crowded marketplace.

“That difficulty is growing and means brilliant creators have to fight harder than ever to get their music heard.

“In the years ahead, it will be a test to help audiences and consumers differentiate and find the musical gems that make our industry so unique.

Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries Margot James said: “The report demonstrates continued sustained growth with the music industry now contributing £4.5 billion to the economy. Exports have risen to £2.6 billion and the sector employs 145,815 people.

“2017 was a very successful year globally for the UK music industry. Ed Sheeran’s third album ÷ (Divide) was the biggest selling album of the year. The O2 in London was officially the most popular live music arena in the world. Five of the top ten most successful worldwide tours were from UK acts. 2018 is proving to be no different

“We need to build on these achievements and as the Minister responsible for the creative industries I am firmly committed to doing just that.”

We are ‘disappointed’ as the approval of Sony’s acquisition of EMI Music Publishing sets to create a ‘major super power’. The creation of a behemoth entity threatens the ideal of a balanced, diverse and competitive marketplace

BASCA has cited its disappointment following the decision of The European Commission to approve Sony’s acquisition of EMI Music Publishing, thus creating a ‘major super power’.

This follows BASCA’s independent activity, including campaigning to the Commission and statement of September 28th 2018, outlining its opposition of the potential deal.

Sony is currently the world’s biggest music publisher and second biggest music label. BASCA opposed the now-approved Sony EMI deal in favour of EMI being run as a standalone business, or else combined with smaller music companies, with the ideal of fostering a fair and competitive market for European talent.

BASCA opposed the Sony acquisition of EMI and the creation of a ‘major super power’ to mitigate concerns including: possible dominance in the licensing market, dominant influence on CMO’s, possible further reduction of the share of online royalties payable to creators, the undermining of the future autonomy of Creators’ Rights and the reduction of choice and service for creators.

Commenting on the decision BASCA Chair, Crispin Hunt said: “It is disappointing that this decision will create a behemoth that could hinder balance, diversity and competition for music.

“Sony is a great music company but it is through competition as opposed to oligopoly, we all move towards market success and the innovative future music deserves – online and off – for indies, the self-releasing sector and majors.”

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