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Unveiling the Brilliance: 2023 Ivors Classical Nominees

Ivors Classical Awards

The prestigious Ivors Classical Awards 2023 unfolds its roster of exceptional talents, signaling a remarkable era in contemporary classical music and sound art, with over 30 composers contending for the coveted accolades.

Ivors 2023: A Symphony of Talents

The arena of contemporary classical music gains renewed vibrancy as The Ivors Academy proudly discloses the nominees for its 2023 Classical Awards. With the ceremony slated for November 14 at BFI Southbank, London, anticipation surges for which among the 34 composers will clinch the 11 distinguished Ivor Novello Awards.

Honoring Musical Craftsmanship

This year’s nomination list sees an eclectic mix, from established composers like Thomas Adès and Anna Thorvaldsdottir to those receiving their first nods, including emerging talents such as Jasdeep Singh Degun and Angela Elizabeth Slater. An impressive spectrum of works came under the scrutiny of 40 adept composer judges, leading to a nomination shortlist exemplifying innovation and diversity.

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In a remarkable achievement, composers Brett Dean, Brian Irvine, and Hannah Kendall each secured two nominations, showcasing their versatile genius in categories like orchestral composition and stage work.

Lifetime Achievement: John Rutter CBE

Amidst the celebration of fresh works, The Ivors Academy reserves its highest commendation, the Academy Fellowship, for John Rutter CBE, underlining his indelible contribution to the realm of music.

Radiating Innovation and Diversity

First-time contenders make up nearly half of the nominations, embodying the dynamic and evolving landscape of classical composition. “This year’s array of nominations underscores the extraordinary breadth of talent and creativity present in contemporary classical music,” remarks Tom Gray, chair of The Ivors Academy.

From Ceremony to Airwaves

BBC Radio 3 commits to bringing the celebration closer to global enthusiasts, with a dedicated broadcast of the awarding on November 18. This special edition of the New Music Show will also grace BBC Sounds, fortifying The Ivors’ reach beyond geographical confines.

The Ivors Classical Awards, with steadfast support from PRS for Music, continue to illuminate the path for classical compositions, encouraging an ethos of excellence and innovation in the music realm.

The full list of nominees delineates the categories and specific works vying for honors, marking milestones in various classical genres from chamber ensemble compositions to sound art.

1­­. BEST CHAMBER ENSEMBLE COMPOSITION

Celebrating classical works composed for four to eighteen instruments, and for one instrument or voice per part.

DISCO! DISCO! GOOD! GOOD? composed by Jasper Dommett

for chamber ensemble

EVEN SWEETNESS CAN SCRATCH THE THROAT composed by Hannah Kendall

for chamber ensemble

published in the UK by G Ricordi, Universal Music Publishing

NÖVÉNYEK composed by Thomas Adès

for mezzo-soprano and piano sextet

published in the UK by Faber Music Ltd

STAGGERED NOCTURNE composed by Luke Bedford

for 14 players and percussion soloist

published in the UK by Universal Edition

WHY DO YOU GRIEVE composed by William Marsey

for chamber ensemble

2. BEST CHORAL COMPOSITION

Celebrating classical works specifically composed for voices; either a capella or accompanied. 

KISHTATOS | קישתתוס composed by Omri Kochavi

for 18 voices

LANDSCAPE composed by Naomi Pinnock

for 6 solo voices

SOL composed by Ben Nobuto

for SATB vocal ensemble

3. BEST COMMUNITY AND PARTICIPATION COMPOSITION in association with ABRSM

Celebrating works composed for voluntary, amateur or youth performers and/or community engagement. 

ESTUARY SOUND ARK composed by Matthew Herbert

community project involving young participants; Amy Rose Bryan, Chelsea Joseph, Emily Brewster, Esther-Olivia Odesanmi, Joe Holland, Naomi Rosser, Oliver Starling and Skye Maskell, and sounds collected by the local community in South Essex and North Kent.

published in the UK by Bucks Music Group Ltd

HEROES composed by Harry Castle

for chamber orchestra, SATB choir and soprano and baritone soloists

IT TAKES A CITY composed by Toby Young

opera for youth and adult community choirs and professional orchestra, with libretto by Sayan Kent

SWARM FANFARES composed by Dobrinka Tabakova

for youth orchestra

published in the UK by Valonius Press-Schott Music Limited

TOGETHER AND APART composed by Ned Bigham

for youth orchestra and choir

4. BEST LARGE ENSEMBLE COMPOSITION

Celebrating classical works composed for up to 36 players. 

ANTIGONE: PURE IN HER CRIME composed by Athanasia Kontou

for chamber orchestra and mezzo-soprano

ILOLLI-POP composed by Alex Paxton

for ensemble and improvising soloist

published in the UK by G Ricordi, Universal Music Publishing

KA composed by Bushra El-Turk

for percussion soloist and string orchestra

SHOUTING FOREVER INTO THE RECEIVER composed by Hannah Kendall

for 17 players

published in the UK by G Ricordi, Universal Music Publishing

THROUGH THE FADING HOUR composed by Angela Elizabeth Slater

for chamber orchestra

5. BEST ORCHESTRAL COMPOSITION

Celebrating large symphonic works, including works for choir and orchestra. 

ARCHORA composed by Anna Thorvaldsdottir

for symphony orchestra

published in the UK by Chester Music Ltd

CELLO CONCERTO composed by Brett Dean

for symphony orchestra and solo cello

published in the UK by Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd 

ELLIPTICS composed by Emily Howard

for orchestra, soprano and countertenor

published in the UK by Peters Edition Ltd

IN THIS BRIEF MOMENT composed by Brett Dean

for symphony orchestra and double SATB chorus

published in the UK by Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd

SOUND SCULPTURE NO. 7 composed by Simon Knighton

for orchestra

6. BEST SMALL CHAMBER COMPOSITION

Celebrating classical works composed for one to three instruments, and for one instrument or voice per part. 

ANSWER MACHINE TAPE, 1987 composed by Philip Venables

for solo piano with amplification and KeyScanner device, projection and recorded sound

published in the UK by G Ricordi, Universal Music Publishing

COMME L’ESPOIR/YOU MIGHT ALL DISAPPEAR composed by Josephine Stephenson

for soprano and guitar

published in the UK by Éditions Alphonse Leduc

CROW ROTATIONS composed by Larry Goves

for soprano, flute/alto flute, alto saxophone, cello and electronics

SILBERBLAU composed by Matthew Grouse

for guitar and electronics

THE BOOK OF THE SEDIMENTS composed by Newton Armstrong

for soprano and electronic sounds 

7. BEST SOUND ART

Celebrating non concert format works which use sound as both their medium and their subject, including installations, sculptural, electroacoustic and audience interactive pieces.

LOL by Olivia Louvel

a site-specific sonic intervention delivered through the public address system of Middlesbrough’s CCTV surveillance network, reflecting the current state of political affairs in Britain, produced with Sound Art Brighton

MACHAIR by Duncan MacLeod

acousmatic soundwalk exploring the traditions and ecology of Uist’s machair on the Isle of Benbecula

RITES FOR CROSSING WATER by Hugh Crewdson Jones and Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian

outdoor installation, augmented reality book and EP built around instructional texts, imagined as folklore for the future

8. BEST STAGE WORK

Celebrating works composed for the stage, including opera, dance and musical theatre. 

LEAST LIKE THE OTHER: SEARCHING FOR ROSEMARY KENNEDY composed by Brian Irvine

opera in one act, for soprano, two actors and two opposing ensembles

LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE composed by Joby Talbot

ballet in three acts

published in the UK by Chester Music Ltd

ORPHEUS composed by Jasdeep Singh Degun

opera in five acts, for Indian classical continuo and Baroque continuo

THE SCORCHED EARTH TRILOGY composed by Brian Irvine

three projected street art operas with libretto by John McIlduff

VIOLET composed by Tom Coult

opera in one act with libretto by Alice Birch

published in the UK by Faber Music Ltd

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