Faber Music is delighted that three of its composers were honoured at this year's British Composer Awards.
George Benjamin’s widely acclaimed opera Written on Skin took the award in the stage works category. This extraordinary opera has been performed over 40 times since its premiere just a year and a half ago, and the BASCA award adds to a growing list of accolades for this magnificent piece.
'The panel described this as the work that revitalises contemporary opera, that demonstrates completely why it is still a vibrant contemporary force. Written on Skin is beautiful as well as dark, its translucent original score alternately charming and challenging, questioning. The singers are perfectly heard, the narrative clearly conveyed, yet there are marvellous conceits - speaking in the third person, singing about experiences as well as living them. An immensely satisfying piece, a marvellous example of the form as well as being a completely satisfying piece of music.'
In the chamber category Colin Matthews’ striking String Quartet No. 4 took the top prize. The seven-movement work – which encompasses styles as disparate as the habanera and spectral music – was premiered in 2012 at the Wigmore Hall in a stunning performance by the Elias Quartet.
'The panel felt that Colin Matthews’ string quartet number 4, dedicated to his brother David, was a work of substance, that was profoundly moving, with moments of poise and delicacy within a highly original structure.'
Choral composer Matthew Martin won his first BASCA award for the liturgical work I Saw the Lord. This festival anthem, a setting of words from Isaiah chapter 6, had its UK premiere in June 2012 at St David's Cathedral.
'There were many aspects of Matthew Martin's writing that impressed the judges: the harmonic development, the sympathetic writing for voices and the use of the organ as a dramatic element in addition to its function as an accompanying instrument. It is music that will engage the interest and enthusiasm of choirs, organists and congregations and is a worthy winner.'
Kathryn Knight, Director of Publishing and Business Development at Faber Music writes:
'This award is richly deserved by Matthew, whose unique voice and beautifully crafted choral writing has generated huge interest in his music and accolades by the leading professional choral directors working in the UK.'
Faber composers also featured in the awards shortlist which included Jonathan Harvey’s solo clarinet piece Cirrus Light.
The awards ceremony will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Saturday 7 December as part of the Hear and Now programme at 10.45pm.