July ’17 News Digest

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The Queen’s Birthday Honours were announced on 11 June and as usual the list of names featured many musicians. Among those with ties to contemporary music were the composer and conductor George Benjamin (Knighthood); double bassist and Chineke! founder Chi-chi Nwanoku (pictured), and singer and composer Roderick Williams (both OBE); and composer, producer and co-director of the Young Persons Concert Foundation Ian Dean, and CoMA Artistic Director Chris Shurety (both MBE).
Nominations are still open – just! – for the BASCA British Composer Awards, but hurry: the closing date is Tuesday 4 July. Visit the awards entry site to nominate a work.
With a less urgent deadline – Friday 28 July – is the Britten Sinfonia’s OPUS 2017 competition for unpublished composers. Now in its fifth year, this is an open call for scores from unpublished composers, with no restrictions on age or musical genre. The chosen composer will receive the opportunity to work with Nik Bartsch and the Britten Sinfonia, at least three performances of their work (in London, Cambridge and Norwich) and a commission fee. For more information and application forms see the OPUS 2017 website.
Northern Irish-born, Glasgow-based composer Matthew Whiteside has been nominated for Herald Scotland Culture Award in its ‘One to Watch’ category, the only composer to be so. Award winners will be announced in a ceremony at the art and music venue SWG3 on 13 July.
The inaugural Oram Awards were presented on 6 June at the Turner Contemporary, Margate. The awards, named after electronic music pioneer Daphne Oram, were launched by the PRS Foundation and New BBC Radiophonic Workshop to support women and girls in new music. The eight winners, who will receive bursaries and mentoring, were: Elvin Brandhi, Sally Golding, Kathy Hinde, Ewa Justka, Klein, Shelley Knotts, Claire Singer and Mary Stark.
Sound and Music have launched an appeal to create a £25,000 bursary fund for young composers. Named after the late Steve Martland, the fund will offer financial support to those attending Sound and Music’s Summer School for Young Composers. For more details about the fund, and to make a donation, please visit the Sound and Music website.
It is with sadness that we note the death on 19 June of the musicologist Richard Toop. Born in Chichester in 1945, he worked as Stockhausen’s teaching assistant at the Staatliche Musikhochschule in Cologne (1973–4) before moving to Australia in 1975 to take up a position at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. He remained in Australia until his death, where he was a much admired and influential teacher and new music advocate. Internationally, he is best known for his writings on Stockhausen, Ferneyhough (including his Collected Writings, which he co-edited with James Boros), Ligeti, and ‘New Complexity’, a term that he is often (erroneously) credited with having coined in a famous 1988 article ‘Four Facets of “The New Complexity”’ for the journal Contact.
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