Scottish Awards for New Music winners announced9:48, 14th May 2019
By Susan Nickalls
The 2019 Scottish Awards for New Music celebrated the variety and vibrancy of Scotland’s contemporary music scene at a ceremony hosted by music writer and broadcaster Kate Molleson at Glasgow’s Drygate Brewery last night.
The main RCS Award for Contribution to New Music in Scotland went to the Red Note Ensemble. Over the last 10 years, CEO John Harris and his artistic co- director Robert Irvine have championed the work of Scottish-based composers at home and abroad with their critically-acclaimed programmes and performances.
Garth Knox, a former violist in the Arditti Quartet and Ensemble intercontemporain, picked up the New Music Performer of the Year Award. At the end of the evening, he showed off his virtuosity and multi-dimensional approach to style and technique in The Way to Play. Now based in Paris, Knox has a long-term relationship with soundfestival. The Aberdeen festival’s director, Fiona Robertson, won the Creative Programming Award.
Composition-wise, the Award for Large Scale New Work sponsored by PRS for Music went to Helen Grime’s Woven Space, the Dorico Award for Small Scale New Work sponsored by Steinberg to James Dillon for his Quartet No.9 and the EVM Award for Electroacoustic/Sound Art Work was won by Pippa Murphy for Breathe in me. Kate Halsall on harmonium performed the work with Murphy during the evening with this and Knox’s performance supported by the Musician’s Union.
Scotland’s street orchestra, Nevis Ensemble took home the RCS Award for Making it Happen while the RCS Award for Collaboration in New Music went to Simon Thacker’s Svara-Kanti. The Scottish virtuoso guitarist’s world-leading Indo-western collective includes Neyveli B. Venkatesh, K.V. Gopalakrishna, N. Guruprasad, Farid Yesmin, Raju Das Baul, and Sunayana Ghosh.
Guitarist Sean Shibe’s softLOUD for Delphian Records won the Recorded New Work Award with Lost at Sea by the composer Scanner for Svend McEwan-Brown’s East Neuk Festival picking up the Community/Education Project Award.
There were two joint winners for the Good Spirits Company Award for Innovation in new Tradition Music, Ailie Robertson for her Celtic Connection’s commission Seven Sorrows and Greg Lawson’s GRIT Orchestra for Bothy Culture.
Alan Morrison, Head of Music at Creative Scotland, said it was encouraging to see both emerging talent and leading lights winning awards. ‘The new music scene in Scotland is fearlessly open to a diversity of influenced and ideas. Now is the time for Scotland to show how its new music can influence the rest of the world.’