Winners announced for the 2018 Scottish Awards for New Music
- Carol Main
- 12 March 2018
Red Note Ensemble, Mr McFall's Chamber and Sir James MacMillan were among the musicians celebrated last week
At an evening awards ceremony that's as glitzy as it gets for classical music in Scotland, the very best of what's going on in new music was celebrated at Glasgow's Drygate Brewery on Wednesday 7 March. Aiming to raise the profile of the contemporary music sector and the rich scope of activity that is happening throughout the country, the second Scottish Awards for New Music were given out across 11 categories.
Out there flying the flag for new music, not just in Scotland but internationally, Sir James MacMillan was the more than worthy recipient of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Award for Contribution to New Music in Scotland. Mr McFall's Chamber – who have championed new music of all varieties since 1996, whether contemporary classical or progressive rock – were popular winners of the Help Musicians Scotland Award for New Music Performers of the Year. The even longer established Hebrides Ensemble, one of the controversial casualties in Creative Scotland's recent funding decisions, walked off with the EVM Award for Recorded New Work in recognition of The Last Island, their Delphian produced album of music by Peter Maxwell Davies.
Award winners thanked and thanked again everyone they could think of in their acceptance speeches. Only composer Michael Begg went off script with a spontaneous 'Fuck me sideways!' as he was presented with the Holiday Inn Award for Electro-Acoustic/Sound Art for Titan, his tribute to Clydebank's Titan Crane. The awards themselves, sculpted in bronze and presented by music journalist Kate Molleson, were designed and created by Glasgow School of Art graduate Daisy Chetwin.
Tribute was paid to Scottish composer and educator John Maxwell Geddes, who died earlier this year, with a performance of his amusing and theatrical Etude d'execution transcendente for solo trumpet and gin bottle by Jason Lewis, principal trumpet with Scottish Opera.
Other music came from Red Note Ensemble, who won in the Education and Collaboration categories and performed 'A Real Force' by Kilmarnock school pupil Angus Docherty. Angus was also given the honour of pulling the card with James MacMillan's name on it from its envelope as the event drew to a close, summing up the spirit of the evening in saying 'new music in Scotland has a great future.' The event was organised by New Music Scotland, a network of composers, performers, programmers, producers, educators, funders and audiences.