Conservatoire academics nominated in top composer awards

birmingham conservatoire, ADM, British composer awards, BCA

Two academics from Birmingham Conservatoire are celebrating after being shortlisted in the British Composer Awards (BCA).

Created by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors in 2003, the BCAs seek to promote the art of composition, to recognise the creative talent of composers and sound artists, and to bring their music to a wider audience.

Head of Composition at Birmingham Conservatoire, Professor Joe Cutler has been nominated in the Contemporary Jazz Composition category for Karembeu’s Guide to the Complete Defensive Midfielder, a piece commissioned from the 2015 Cheltenham International Music Festival.

On hearing of his nomination, Professor Cutler said: “It’s a real thrill to be shortlisted for this year’s British Composer Awards in the contemporary jazz category. There’s a strong Birmingham Conservatoire connection to this piece as it was written for Emulsion Sinfonietta who are co-led by saxophonist/composer Trish Clowes, who recently began a PhD at the Conservatoire, and who received the award last year in the same category.

“My piece, Karembeu’s Guide to the Complete Defensive Midfielder was a commission from 2015 Cheltenham International Music Festival. It was a particularly joyous project as it opened up new ground for me as a composer, working with improvisers of the ilk of Iain Bellamy, Thomas Stronen and Trish.

“Birmingham Conservatoire’s composition and jazz departments are widely recognised as world-leading centres of creative innovation, and I feel very privileged to work on a daily basis with such inspiring colleagues and students.”

Also nominated in this year’s awards is Dr Fumiko Miyachi, Composition Tutor at Birmingham Conservatoire, who has been shortlisted for the Wind and Brass Band category for her piece titled Au79(Gold).

On hearing of her nomination, Dr Miyachi said: "I'm delighted to have been shortlisted for this year's British Composer Awards under the wind and brass band category. My work Au79(Gold) was premiered by Birmingham Conservatoire Brass Band in March this year, conducted by Ian Porthouse (Director of Brass Band Studies) and was recorded with the help of Dr Simon Hall (Head of Music Technology). 

“The strength of sound achieved by them is phenomenal and I have since written another brass band piece Blue Gold which will be performed early next year. Au79(Gold) is one of my Transitional Metal series of works, which forms the basis of my forthcoming album released from Divine Art Records."

Alongside Professor Cutler and Dr Miyachi, alumnus and former Conservatoire tutor John Webb has also been nominated for the Community or Educational Project category.

The 2016 British Composer Awards, hosted by BBC Radio 3 presenters Andrew McGregor and Sarah Walker, will take place on Tuesday 6 December at the British Film Institute, Southbank in London. 

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