Scots to the fore at The Ivors

The annual Ivors Composer Awards will be announced on December 1 and the recently announced shortlist reveals the health of the Scottish scene across the musical spectrum.

Nominations in the Community and Participation category include Judith Weir for The Big Picture, which celebrated the re-opening of Aberdeen Art Gallery at Sound Festival, and Bute-born educator Paul Rissmann for the multi-faceted What Do You Do With An Idea?. Stuart MacRae’s  Prometheus Symphony, co-commissioned by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra as the culmination of his work as the Lammermuir Festival’s composer-in-association, is among the five works in the Chamber Orchestral category, alongside Hover by long-time Scottish resident Sally Beamish.

The other three works with Scottish roots are by composers nominated for an Ivor for the first time. Timothy Cooper’s “ . . . Shadows that in darkness dwell . . .” was commissioned by Matthew Whiteside’s contemporary chamber music initiative The Night With . . . and features on its first album, Live Vol One, performed by the group formed to do that, Ensemble 1604.

Aberdeenshire’s Claire M Singer is a composer putting the organ back at the heart of contemporary music, including partnerships with post-rock groups Low and Stars of the Lid. Her work for organ, strings and horns, Gleann Ciuin, in nominated in the Large Chamber category. Completing the line-up is bassist Calum Gourlay, from Glasgow, whose New Ears Suite, recorded with saxophonist Helena Kay, trombonist Kieran McLeod and drummer James Maddren is in the Jazz Composition for Small Ensemble category.

Image: Composer Claire M Singer