Huge congratulations to Bushra El-Turk and Joe Cutler on your Ivors Academy Ivor Novello Award nomination in the Community & Participation, and Large Orchestral categories!
Bushra El-Turk’s Tuqus for multi ability symphony orchestra, nominated in the Community & Participation category, was commissioned by London Symphony Orchestra and performed by London Symphony Orchestra, LSO On Track Young Musicians and Guildhall School Musicians conducted by Sir Simon Rattle in London’s iconic Trafalgar Square.
When I first received this commission from LSO Discovery I was obviously gobsmacked. And then I was a bit (correction: very much) nervous I had to write a piece for very large orchestra of different abilities in a short space of time which will be heard by a lot of people (circa. 7000 people), conducted by possibly the most famous conductor in the world, by the most famous orchestra in the world. Of course, writing for the LSO wasn’t new to me. I wrote for the orchestra back in 2013 for the LSO Panufnik Scheme so I knew some of the players. Writing for multi-ability orchestra needed a slightly different mindset. How do I write for young musicians (LSO On Track musicians from East London schools) who were new to playing in an orchestra that wasn’t too simple to play but also taught them a few new techniques (in ways that wouldn’t bore them to death)?
The rehearsals took place every Sunday for a month, led by two different conductors and LSO players before the Guildhall School musicians and Sir Simon Rattle joined us. The second half of each session involved sectionals where I visited each section in their spaces to answer any questions and explain a few techniques and concepts. When Sir Simon Rattle did join us once the technical aspects were sorted, he jumped on the podium and conducted little moments, breathing life into it, and us. And knowing his flair for theatricality and openness to experiment he took the bull by the horns and solved the last section of the piece that was niggling me for some time.
When you have a performance in Trafalgar Square that’s free for everyone to attend, you really are writing directly for the people, rather than the same few, and that makes it even more worth writing for.Bushra El-Turk
Joe Cutler’s Hawaii Hawaii Hawaii was written for Trish Clowes and the BBC Concert Orchestra, commissioned by the BBC Radio 3. Hawaii Hawaii Hawaii is soon to be released in CD in an album of same title on Birmingham Record Company through NMC!
The premiere of Hawaii Hawaii Hawaii last December was one of the most rewarding and thrilling experiences I have had as a composer. It was a real joy to work with such a fantastic team of musicians. The chemistry was just right: Trish Clowes as soloist was incredible, bringing such depth of artistry to her part, the BBC Concert Orchestra performed with brilliance, energy and sparkle, and Ben Palmer, who conducted the concert, ‘got’ the piece completely and clearly has a wonderful rapport with the orchestra. Also, Ross Stanley on hammond was a fantastic presence on stage, as his part is quite central to the piece. My dear friend Howard Skempton says that composers don’t need loads of commissions, just the right ones. This commission was very much of that later category.Joe Cutler
Details about all nominees will be on The Ivors Academy website.
Over the course of November, short videos created by nominees themselves talking about their work will be pubished on The Ivors Academy YouTube channel so do subscribe so you’re notified of when they’re published.
Winners of this year’s Ivor Novello Awards will be revealed exclusively on BBC Radio 3 as part of a two-hour ceremony broadcast, hosted by Kate Molleson and Tom Service on Tuesday 1 December from 7.30pm.
The Ivors Composer Awards are sponsored by PRS for Music. The Ivors Composer Awards sees the presentation of Ivor Novello Awards to recognise creative excellence in classical, jazz, and sound arts. Recognised as a pinnacle of achievement since they were first presented in 1956, an Ivor Novello Award represents peer recognition with categories judged by those within the UK music creator community.
Composers Edition is immensely proud to be working with Bushra and Joe and wish them all the best for the Ivors Composer Awards ceremony!
Tags: BBC Concert Orchestra, BBC Radio 3, Bushra El-Turk, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Hawaii Hawaii Hawaii, Ivors Composer Awards, Joe Cutler, London Symphony Orchestra, LSO on Track Young Musicians, LSO Panufnik Young Composer, Multi-ability orchestra, Sir Simon Rattle, The Ivors Academy, Trish Clowes, Tuqus