The UK’s 2022 Ivors Academy Composer Awards Announces Nominees
The 20th edition of the organization's composer awards have nominated over 40 composers across classical, jazz, and sound art divisions
The Ivors Academy is the UK’s independent professional association for music creators and its annual Ivors Composer Awards celebrates outstanding works in the classical, jazz, and sound art genres. Formally known as the British Composer Awards, this event first launched in 2003.
Composers nominated this year include established and emerging artists, 46% of whom are first-time nominees. In total, 45 works were nominated across nine categories, including community projects and stage works.
Winners will receive an Ivor Novello Award in a live ceremony hosted by BBC Radio 3 presenters Hannah Peel and Tom Service on November 15, 2022, at the British Museum. Sponsored by PRS for Music, the event will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on November 19, as part of the station’s New Music Show.
Many of this year’s nominated works reflected on human experiences, social issues, and climate change. They included Una Lee’s Down Gone which explores themes of racism and sexism, Liz Dilnot Johnson’s When a Child is a Witness — Requiem for Refugees recognizing children affected by war displacement, John Wallace’s Opsnizing Dad focusing on dementia and social care, Derri Joseph Lewis’ Something Exciting reflecting on themes of coming out as LGBTQ+, plus climate change-related works by Louise Drewett, Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Laura Bowler, and Benjamin Graves.
All the 2022 nominated works have premiered across the UK including on commercial recordings and YouTube live streams between April 2021 and March 2022, and were composed by a UK-born or UK-based composer. All entered composers and their works were anonymously reviewed by juries comprising professional composers and music practitioners.
Three additional special awards will also be presented that recognize sustained contributions to music: the Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Works Collection for an exceptional classical composer demonstrating superb skill and originality, the Ivor Novello Award for Innovation for a composer-musician who inspires and influences successive generations, plus the Academy Fellowship, which honors music-making excellence and impact.
Commissioners of the 2022 nominated works include orchestras, festivals, and individual artists such as the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, BBC Singers, BBC Proms, Garsington Opera, Opera North, Oxford Lieder Festival, Juliet Fraser, among others.
“I would like to congratulate every nominee and thank every composer that entered work for consideration,” said Ivors Academy Chair, Tom Gray. “We are determined to increase the voice and influence of composers over the next two decades so that we strengthen and grow as a community.”
“It is encouraging to see that almost 50% of those nominated are first time nominees, highlighting the flourishing creative talent we have in the UK,” said Andrea Czapary Martin, CEO of PRS for Music. “This is exactly why we are proud to have invested and supported the awards from the beginning and continue to pledge our support as the awards go beyond their 20th anniversary. Congratulations to all those nominated, we look forward to honoring the winners in November.”
The Ivors Composer Awards 2022 Nominees in each category are:
Celebrating classical works composed for four to eighteen instruments, and for one instrument or voice per part.
- AESOP 2 composed by Robin Haigh
for untrained recorder soloist, 13 players and electronics
- ESSENTIAL RELAXING CLASSICAL HITS composed by Laurence Osborn
for amplified solo soprano and 6 players
- MADAME MA BONNE SŒUR composed by Brett Dean
for mezzo-soprano and string quartet
- MUSIC FOR BOSCH PEOPLE composed by Alex Paxton
for 2 saxophones, 2 trombones, 2 electric guitars, drums and loudspeakers
- THE BIG HOUSE composed by Oliver Leith
for string quartet
Celebrating classical works specifically composed for voices; either a capella or accompanied.
- ALL SHALL BE WELL composed by Joanna Marsh
for unaccompanied choir
- A SHORT STORY OF FALLING composed by Joanna Marsh
for upper voice choir and piano
- CARMINA TEMPORE VIRI (SONGS IN TIME OF VIRUS) composed by Ken Hesketh
for upper voices, harp, organ and desk bells
- SEASCAPES composed by Kristina Arakelyan
for unaccompanied choir
- THERE IS NO ROSE composed by Cecilia McDowall
for unaccompanied choir
COMMUNITY AND PARTICIPATION in association with ABRSM
Celebrating works composed for voluntary, amateur or youth performers and/or community engagement
- DAYLIGHTING composed by Louise Drewett
community opera for children’s choir, soloists, narrator and ensemble with libretto by Clare Shaw
- ISLE OF SOUND composed by Emily Peasgood
soundscape project engaging communities in different parts of Thanet, Kent
- SOMETHING EXCITING composed by Derri Joseph Lewis
for SSAATB choir
- THE SELFISH GIANT composed by John Barber
youth opera with libretto by Jessica Duchen
- WHEN A CHILD IS A WITNESS – REQUIEM FOR REFUGEES composed by Liz Dilnot Johnson
for choir, children’s choir, mezzo soprano solo, organ, piano, violin/Hardanger fiddle and refugee groups
Celebrating jazz compositions which contain improvisation as an essential element
- 22:22 composed by Dan Mar-Molinero
for jazz orchestra
- BIRDS OF PARADISE composed by Tori Freestone
for jazz trio (flute/triangle, vocals and piano)
- CWMWL TYSTION II – RIOT! SUITE composed by Tomos Williams
for voice and jazz ensemble with live visuals
- PLANT BASED PATTERNS composed by David De La Haye
for jazz trio with field recordings
- TO LOVE ITSELF composed by Alex Hitchcock
for jazz ensemble
Celebrating classical works composed for up to thirty-six players.
- CANDYFOLK SPACE-DRUM composed by Alex Paxton
for 6 players, jazz drum kit, improvising soloist, electronics and children’s choir
- CONCERTO GROSSO composed by Joe Cutler
for ten piece solo ensemble, orchestral strings and timpani
- HOUSES SLIDE composed by Laura Bowler
for cycling soprano, ensemble and fixed and live electronics
- SCENES FROM THE WILD composed by Cheryl Frances-Hoad
for tenor and chamber orchestra
- SLEEPTALKER composed by Robin Haigh
for thirty piece chamber orchestra
Celebrating large symphonic works, including works for choir and orchestra.
- ACTS OF WAVES composed by Edmund Finnis
- À MON SEUL DÉSIR composed by Brian Irvine
for violin and orchestra
- CONCERTO FOR ORCHESTRA composed by George Benjamin
- LITANIES composed by Julian Anderson
for cello and orchestra
- TO AN UTTERANCE composed by Rebecca Saunders
for piano and orchestra
Celebrating classical works composed for one to three instruments, and for one instrument or voice per part.
- CORALE composed by Benjamin Graves
for viola and piano
- FANTASIE DI STRANI E DOLCI MISTERI DELLA PAROLA composed by James Weeks
for mezzo soprano and violin
- NATURAL WORLD composed by Laurence Crane
for soprano and piano / sampler keyboard
- ROSALIND composed by Hannah Kendall
for soprano, baritone and piano
- THIS UNQUIET AUTUMN composed by Lara Agar
for soprano and piano
Celebrating non concert format works which use sound as both their medium and their subject, including installations, sculptural, electroacoustic and audience interactive pieces.
- BEACONS by Emily Peasgood
site-specific outdoor ritual performed on beaches in coastal communities that features an experimental vocal performance and sound responsive light installation.
- DOWN GONE by Una Lee
audio composition for voice and electronics that explores speech, homophonic translation and musicalisation.
- EARTHQUAKE MASS RE-IMAGINED by Kathy Hinde
sound installation featuring twelve modified turntables playing vinyl pressings of a 15th century choral mass, reconfigured in response to seismic data.
- THE MUTE STILL AIR by Ed Carter
site-specific, sculptural sound installation and live performance by Grimethorpe Colliery Band.
- THE SOUND VOICE PROJECT: PAUL, I LEFT MY VOICE BEHIND AND TANJA by Hannah Conway
performance installation exploring stories of voice loss and identity.
Celebrating works composed for the stage, including opera, dance and musical theatre.
- DANTE composed by Thomas Adès
ballet in three parts, for orchestra with pre-recorded voices and female choir
- OPSNIZING DAD composed by John Wallace
opera in one act with libretto by Elizabeth Ingram-Wallace
- SYLLABLE composed by Edward Jessen
operatic sonic theatre work
- THE SHACKLED KING composed by John Casken
drama for bass, mezzo-soprano and ensemble
- WITCH composed by Freya Waley-Cohen
opera in one act with libretto by Ruth Mariner