New Music Biennial puts UK composers on the world map in 2014

GregJohnson January 18, 2013 0
New Music Biennial puts UK composers on the world map in 2014

The PRS for Music Foundation have announced the launch of the inaugural New Music Biennial, presenting a series of all-new music commissions to audiences across the UK in 2014.

Open to submissions from organisations across the country, the scheme will select the best ideas for commissions to be realised by a UK composer. All selected works will premiere in 2014 and be featured on BBC Radio 3.

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Set to begin in January 2014, this first edition of the New Music Biennial has been developed in partnership with
Creative Scotland, Arts Council England and British Council, and is designed to support and promote up to twenty new commissions, performed all over the UK.

As Scotland prepares to celebrate the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014, the New Music Biennial can hopefully replicate the successes of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad which ran in parallel to the Summer Olympic Games.

These commissions will be brought together across two weekend events in the summer of 2014 hosted by London’s Southbank Centre on July 4-6, and Glasgow UNESCO City of Music on August 2-4.

Proposals can be submitted right away and cultural and creative organisations, festivals, ensembles, promoters and venues from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are all invited to present ideas for new works.

There is an open brief although this debut edition of the New Music Biennial will have an international focus, connected as it is with the Commonwealth games. Applicants to the New Music Biennial are invited to present their own, unique interpretation of this international dimension and any musical genre will be considered.

All submitted ideas will be judged and assessed by a panel of experts, chaired by Roger Wright, Controller of BBC Radio 3 and Director of the BBC Proms, who will select the 20 most interesting and best works following the application deadline of March 4. Wright is not just a judge but also an advocate for the scheme, commenting “this is a great opportunity to showcase the vibrancy and quality of the UK’s new music scene across a number of genres and I’m thrilled that, as the home of classical music, BBC Radio 3 will broadcast each of the new works.”

The New Music Biennial builds upon last year’s New Music 20×12 initiative; a music commissioning programme that saw more than 250,000 people experience new work from leading figures in the fields of contemporary classical, jazz and folk music, including Mark-Anthony Turnage, Sally Beamish, Jason Yarde, Emily Howard, Julian Joseph, Sheema Mukherjee, Howard
Skempton, Anna Meredith and Graham Fitkin.

More information about the New Music Biennial can be found on the scheme’s website.

Did you take part in or catch any of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad or New Music 20×12 events? What would commission ideas would like to see realised in the New Music Biennial next year?