12 UK composers get recording grants

12 UK composers get recording grants


norman lebrecht

January 26, 2017

The  PRS Foundation has distributed £150,000 ‘to support composers and enable them to realise projects and ambitions that may not be possible through traditional commissioning models.’

Mostly, that will involve recording their music, off and on-line.

This year’s 12 lucky composers are:

Ed Bennett
Gary Carpenter
Jessica Curry
Shiva Feshareki
Stuart MacRae
John McLeod

Hilda Paredes
Lynne Plowman
Gwyn Pritchard
Philip Venables
James Weeks
Elizabeth Winters

More here.


  • John Borstlap says:

    I never heard of any of these people, so I suppose that is why they needed some financial boost.

    How did the PRS know what the composers’ “projects and ambitions” were “that may not be possible through traditional commissioning models”, if they needed research to find-out “that composers faced limited access to funding, low commission fees, lack of any support structure, pressurised working conditions and for established and mid-career composers in particular, a decrease in commissioning opportunities”? (as the PRS article says).

    Things that are widely known to the participants, offer interesting fields of exploration for people who are entirely innocent of the territory. The PRS apparently never were aware of the existence of the Contemporary Music Scene (CMS: Cure My Soul).

    It may be interesting to check-out what these composers were / are up to:

    Ed Bennet; https://vimeo.com/154582501

    Gary Carpenter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WnusfaxtMc

    Jessica Curry: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDf3J9aWTFg

    Shiva Feshareki: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKq5gdSga10

    Stuart MacRae: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9wH2c79lsI

    John McLeod: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiJ-Oz2HprI

    Hilda Paredes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5HVph2xPaU

    Lynne Plowman: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLZ_cA7N7po

    Gwyn Pritchard – audio samples available on his site: http://www.gwynpritchard.com/

    Philip Venables: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4hJQimj45U

    James Weeks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orrRvfyrsPs

    Elizabeth Winters: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNkf28Jycwg

    • John Borstlap says:

      All of these composers write in idioms outside the value framework of the central performance culture, and at least two of them offer musically strong works (Bennet, Pritchard). The rest don’t seem to cultivate high ambitions….. some even don’t write music at all. Would financially supporting their work be a stimulating influence? If you pay an artist more to produce better work, what would ‘better’ mean? Maybe also that should first be researched, by an academic committee made-up of specialists? Can you demand artistic quality by offering better pay, like in a grocer shop better products are priced higher?

      Once, after a concert, a listener came-up to Brahms who had just taken part in performing some of his chamber music, and asked: ‘How do you write again and again such really, really, so beautiful slow movements?’ upon which the composer friendly answered: ‘Oh, but that’s how my publisher orders them’.

    • John Borstlap says:

      Yes, that was nice, and good concerts too (also in Hong Kong), and winding-up Russian modernists from the Ural and beyond – there is no stronger encouragement.