Garth Knox, Pippa Murphy, Helen Grime, Red Note Ensemble and Sean Shibe Win at Scottish New Music Awards

Helen Grime (Photo: Iain Smart)

Garth Knox, Pippa Murphy, Helen Grime, Red Note Ensemble and Sean Shibe Win at Scottish New Music Awards

Ailie Robertson and Grit Orchestra joint winners of award for innovation in traditional music.

The winners of the Scottish Awards for New Music were announced at an event on Monday 13 May in Glasgow.

The awards, now in their third year, highlight Scotland’s contemporary music scene and showcase innovative work across eleven categories. Over two hundred nominations were received.

Performer of the year
Viola player and composer Garth Knox was awarded New Music Performer of the Year. Previously a member of contemporary music specialists the Arditti Quaret, Knox has since premiered works written for him by Henze, Haas and Saariaho. He gave a range of concerts as resident performer at the 2018 Sound festival in Aberdeen, including works by Strasnoy, Dillon and Sciarrino.

Red Note Ensemble were presented with the award for Contribution to New Music. The group have commissioned a range of work and recently toured Maja S.K. Ratkje and Kathy Hinde’s Aeolian and James Dillon’s Tanz/haus: triptych 2017. The Artistic Co-Director is John Harris, also Director of New Music Dublin.


New work
The award for Large Scale New Work went to composer Helen Grime for Woven Space. Commissioned by the Barbican for Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra, the piece opened the This Is Rattle festival in 2017.

The Dorico Award for Small Scale New Work went to James Dillon for his Quartet No. 9. This work was premiered by the Arditti at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in 2018.

Recordings and traditional music
Guitarist Sean Shibe’s softLOUD (Delphian Records) won the category for Recorded New Work. Released in 2018, the album features music by Oswald, MacMillan, Reich, Wolfe and Lang as well as Shibe’s arrangements of music from Scottish medieval lute manuscripts.

Ailie Robertson and Grit Orchestra were joint winners of the award for Innovation in New Traditional Music, Robertson for her concerto for DHC blue light, string quartet and electronics, Seven Sorrows, and Grit Orchestra for its performance of the late Martyn Bennett’s Bothy Culture.

Sound art and Making It Happen
The award for Electroacoustic/Sound Art Work went to Pippa Murphy for Breathe in me, which was commissioned and premiered by Sound festival. Sound, which takes place from 23 October to 3 November this year, also received the award for Creative Programming.

The Nevis Ensemble, which specialises in bringing orchestral music to new audienced throughout Scotland, won the Making It Happen award.

The Community/Education Project award went to the East Neuk Festival, composer/sound artist Scanner and festival director Svend McEwan-Brown for Lost At Sea. Premiered at the festival in 2018, the work brought together school pupils from the area and Scanner to create a memorial for men of the East Neuk fishing industry who lost their lives at sea

The award for Collaboration in New Music went to composer and guitarist Simon Thacker for his group Svara-Kanti which brings together musicians from Indian and Western music. 

Judging panel
The panellists for the 2019 awards were flautist Aisling Agnew; composer and viola player Ian Anderson; Professor Björn Heile of the University of Glasgow; Gunnar Karel Másson, composer and Artistic Director of Dark Music Days; Graham McKenzie, Artistic Director of Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival; Lindsay Pell, Senior Music Producer with BBC Scotland; Osmo Tapio Räilälä, composer and Artistic Director of Nordic Music Days; and Eleanor Wilson, General Manager of NMC Records.

Commenting on the awards, McKenzie said:

It was a pleasure to be involved in the Scottish Awards for New Music for the first time, and very exciting to be introduced to the range and diversity of new music being produced across the country. The quality and innovation of the work was impressive, and I was particularly pleased to see a strong emphasis on gender balance represented. On a personal basis the whole experience has brought to my intention a number of composer voices here in Scotland that I will certainly look to work with in the future.

The event, presented by Kate Molleson at the Drygate Brewery, featured live performances from Garth Knox and a piece by Pippa Murphy performed by Kate Halsall.

The Scottish Awards for New Music were created by New Music Scotland with support from Creative Scotland, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, PRS for Music, Dorico by Steinberg, The Good Spirits Co., Glasgow, Musicians’ Union and EVM (Effective Visual Marketing).

For more, visit www.newmusicscotland.co.uk

Published on 17 May 2019

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