Sally BeamishThe winners of the British Composer Awards 2018 were announced at a glittering ceremony at the British Museum in London last night. They explored the past, present, and future by including a jazz composition inspired by science fiction, a brass band piece exploring artificial intelligence, a sonic art installation in a forgotten burial ground, and two works using digital technologies to enable disabled musicians to take part in live performance.

The ceremony was hosted by BBC Radio 3 presenters Andrew McGregor and Sara Mohr-Pietsch and celebrates 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 who provide exclusive broadcast coverage.Simon DobsonAn incredible 70 percent of the winners were first-time winners so it’s a great time for new composers. In addition to the twelve category winners, two composers were presented with Gift of BASCA Awards in recognition of their contribution to new music. Highlights also included Sir Harrison Birtwistle being the most awarded composer in BCA history. Sally Beamish and Trevor Wishart were honoured with awards for Inspiration and Innovation.

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.

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