Faber Music composer Simon Dobson has won his second British Composer Award in the Wind or Brass Band category with Journey of the Lone Wolf for Brass Band and Percussion. A Symphony of Colours, inspired by the music of Olivier Messiaen, was the winner of the same category in 2012.
Journey of the Lone Wolf is a dramatic and at times poignant musical portrait of the great Hungarian composer and folklorist Béla Bartók, from his early career as a collector of folk song to his final years in exile in the USA. The work was commissioned by the Black Dyke Band (Musical Director Dr. Nicholas Childs), who gave the first performance on Sunday 26 January at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, as part of the Royal Northern College of Music Festival of Brass. In October and November, this three movement suite was performed with acclaim in four European countries – as the set work in the Dutch National Brass Band Championships, and also by leading brass bands in Belgium, The Netherlands and Switzerland.
This prestigious award comes at the end of the most successful year in the 34 year-old composer's career so far. In October, Dobson's 105 minute score for the British Film Institute's restoration of the 1927 epic silent film The Battles of Coronel and Falkland Islands was performed live by musicians of the Band of the Royal Marines to accompany a showing of the film at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London. His score Sainthood: difficult but not impossible commissioned by Stavanger Brass Band received its world premiere on 29 October 2014. It is a witty take on the life of Joan of Arc, devised by the band's musical director Allan Withington.
Simon Dobson accepting BCA Award 2014, courtesy of BASCA
About the British Composer Awards
The BCA celebrate the music of today’s composers living and working in the United Kingdom and also UK premieres of work by composers from outside the UK. Qualifying works must have been completed within the five years prior to 31 March 2014 and received a UK premiere performance – either live or broadcast – in the year leading up to 31 March 2014.
With the exception of the International Award, shortlisted composers must have been born in the UK or resident for at least 5 years. Each category is judged by a different jury, with members appointed by BASCA. This year there were 74 judges, 56 of whom were judging the Awards for the first time. The majority of these music professionals are composers working in collaboration with performers, conductors, promoters and festival directors.
To see the list of winners from all categories, visit basca.org.uk