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British Composer Awards 2009


Vocal: John Casken - The Dream of the Rood
The judges said: “This is an epic work setting a striking text. We were immediately gripped by its gravitas and beautiful harmonic language - a powerful and emotional piece.”

Instrumental Solo or Duo: Thomas Simaku - Soliloquy V, Flauto Acerbo
The judging panel unanimously agreed that the winning work redefines the instrument in a visionary and entirely original way. They praised it for its virtuosity, depth of expression, and powerful imagination.

Liturgical: John Tavener – Ex Maria Virgine
The judges were impressed with the scope of the winning work and felt it would have many applications in many settings for both amateur and professional chapel choirs. They described it as, “dramatic, atmospheric, at times joyous and attimes meditative.”

Community or Educational Project: Mira Calix - My Secret Heart
The judges describe the winning work as, “transformational, capturing raw humanity and giving voice to the disenfranchised in a sound-world which is original, absorbing and unsettling.”

Chamber: Alexander Goehr - Since Brass, Nor Stone…
The judges praised the winning work – “fresh lyricism, lightness of touch and joy in melodic and rhythmic invention.” The panel’s decision was unanimous for a work which they hailed as that of a master.

Sonic Art: Mark Peter Wright – A Quiet Reverie
The panel thought the winning work was a “skilled and subtle essay in the manipulation of environmental sounds. It is immersive and reflective and a powerful evocation of place and space.”

International: John Adams – Doctor Atomic
This is what the judges had to say about the winning work: “This music has an epic sweep. It demonstrates a formidable
technique in all departments and exudes an incredible poignancy. Simply, sensational.”

Orchestral: Simon Holt – a table of noises
The judges came to a unanimous decision and have provided a pithy verdict about the winning composition: “This work
shows an extraordinary sense of beguiling and haunting instrumental sonorities, defining a piece of breathtaking
originality, imagination, invention and wit.”

Stage Works: Graham Fitkin – Reel
The jury felt this was a very strong set of entries and while shortlisting these three significant works, they indicated there could easily have been more. The winning work they say, is by a composer with a “clear and original musical voice. It is inventive, elegant and witty, and demonstrates a perfect partnership between music and dance.”

Making Music: Elizabeth Winters - The Serious Side of Madness
The jury says that, from the outset, they were “intrigued and delighted by the sound world of the winning work.” In a large and diverse field, it stood out for the composer’s fine ear and excellent technique. Easily playable by amateurs, in the judges’ view, it was nonetheless clearly a serious and effective concert work.

York Höller wins 2010 Grawemeyer Award


Composer York Höller has won the 2010 Grawemeyer Award for his orchestral work Sphären. More details on the Boosey's website:

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British Composer Shortlists announced


The 2009 British Composer Shortlists have been announced, including 3 nominations for Sir Harrison Birtwistle:

Ted Hearne wins the Gaudeamus


US composer Ted Hearne has won the 2009 Gaudeamus prize for his 'Katrina Ballads', performed on September 10, 2009 at the Conservatory of Amsterdam by `the ereprijs with Wim Boerman conducting. Hearne himself was vocal soloist in this piece.

This prize is € 4,550 and is meant for writing a new composition to be performed in the Gaudeamus Music Week 2010.

New York Phil gets $10Million for composers


The New York Philharmonic announced today it will receive a $10 million gift from Henry R. Kravis to endow its new composer-in-residence position. Finnish composer Magnus Lindberg will hold the position first.

The Kravis gift will also fund a $250,000 prize for new music, one of the largest awards of its kind. The grant will be given every two years, beginning with the 2011-12 season.

The announcement came as incoming Music Director Alan Gilbert starts his first week at the NY Phil.

Golijov signs to Boosey's


Boosey & Hawkes has signed Osvaldo Golijov to its roster of composers. By exclusive agreement, Boosey & Hawkes now represents Golijov's existing catalog as well as all future works.

Maxwell Davies to write opera about MPs' expenses


Sir Peter Maxwell Davies has disclosed today that he is writing a comic opera about the MPs' expenses scandal, which may feature duck houses and moats.

Boulez wins $500,000 Kyoto prize


Boulez is one of the winners of this year's Kyoto Prize for “contributions to the scientific, cultural and spiritual betterment of mankind,” awarded annually by the Inamori Foundation in Japan. The foundation recognized Mr. Boulez for his contributions to the musical field of serialism, and for his “controlled chance” compositions and his work as director of IRCAM.

Huddersfield Festival details announced


Highlights of the 2009 Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (HCMF), which takes place from Friday, November 21 – Sunday, November 29, 2009, have been announced by the Festival’s Artistic Director, Graham McKenzie.

They include in-depth explorations of the work of two leading voices in European music – the British composer Jonathan Harvey and Portugal’s most celebrated living composer, Emmanuel Nunes.

The festival’s opening concert (Friday, November 21) is to be given by the renowned Arditti Quartet with the Hilliard Ensemble, and includes the UK premiere of Et Lux, a new requiem by the German composer Wolfgang Rihm.

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