Stuart MacRae’s Prometheus Symphony and Harrison Birtwistle’s Duet for Eight Strings have received nominations in the 2020 Ivors Composer Awards (formerly BASCA British Composers Awards), marking them as amongst the best new works by UK composers premiered in the last season.
In the ‘Chamber Orchestral’ category, Stuart MacRae is nominated for Prometheus Symphony. The work is the culmination of a triptych of works on the Prometheus myth composed during MacRae’s three year residency at the Lammermuir Festival and was commissioned by the Festival and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. The BBC SSO gave the premiere in September 2019 with soprano Jennifer France and bass Paul Carey Jones as soloists. Prometheus Symphony was highly praised for its raw drama and rich colours, and was described as “astonishing” (Daily Telegraph), “powerful and muscular” (The Scotsman) and “a very rich, expressive piece…the main event of the evening” (The Herald Scotland).
In the ‘Solo or Duo’ category, Harrison Birtwistle is nominated for Duet for Eight Strings, marking his tenth nomination for a BASCA-Ivors Composers Award. Commissioned by the Nash Ensemble and written for violist Lawrence Power and cellist Adrian Brendel, the work received its premiere at Wigmore Hall in April 2019. It received high praise from the press, and was awarded five stars by Richard Morrison of The Times, who wrote: “Duet for Eight Strings is a glorious exploration of what’s contrapuntally possible with just two instruments… Birtwistle’s latest work proves that he has a few masterpieces in him yet”.
The winners will be announced in a 2 hour ceremony on Tuesday 1 December, broadcast on BBC Radio 3.
More information can be found here.