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ISM MUSIC JOURNAL SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

ISM Composers’ Competition 2013 We are calling for composers aged 23-35 to submit an original composition for voices, inspired by the music of the great British composer Benjamin Britten. The two winning compositions will premiere in a special performance conducted by Suzi Digby OBE in the Chapel of Queens’ College, Cambridge on 4 April 2013 as part of our annual conference, the theme of which will be inspiring a new generation of performers, composers and audience. The deadline for submissions is Monday 3 December 2012. Pieces should be no more than 20 minutes in duration, and can be written for either children’s voices or SATB, with or without accompaniment by organ or harp. Entries will be judged by a distinguished panel including conductor and teacher Suzi Digby OBE, composer Professor Paul Max Edlin and leading music educator and government advisor Richard Hallam MBE. The winning entry in both categories will be chosen by 31 January 2013. In addition to the performance the winners will also each receive a cash prize of £500. The 100th anniversary of Britten’s birth will be celebrated in 2013. The most widely performed British composer from the 20th century, Britten wrote many works for voices, and for leading soloists of his day including Janet Baker and Peter Pears, both of whom have received the ISM Distinguished Musician Award. More information, terms and conditions and the entry form can be found at www.ism.org/conference/competition.

Making sure composers are heard Composers are central to the musical success of the UK and a substantial number of ISM members are involved in writing music in some way, either as their sole source of income or as part of a portfolio career. Henry Vann tells us what composers said in our recent survey. We work hard to support composers working in every genre in the UK, from legal and contract advice to supporting composers through commissions such as our significant donation to the New Music 20x12 and the launch of our 2013 Composers Competition for composers who are just embarking on their career (see above).

The survey As part of our continuing work to promote composers’ interests we conducted a composers survey earlier this year. The survey is the starting point for developing our policy to support composers and will be built on at our roundtable discussion with leading composers in October. In the survey we asked about income, the importance of copyright, commissions, publishers and collecting societies as well as some questions about the role of Sound And Music (SAM), Arts Council England’s (ACE) funding body formed from the merger of the Society for the Promotion of New Music

(SPNM), British Music Information Centre (BMIC), Sonic Arts Network (SAN) and Contemporary Music Network (CMN). Respondents came from right across the music world including a number of successful and well known composers as well those just starting out in their career and one or two publishers.

Commissioning, income and publishers Commissions were recognised as the most important source of income both currently and expected in the future (see table overleaf), but royalty payments and arrangements were expected to increase in significance in the future. The significance of alternative sources of income was clear however, with educational work being an important source of income for one in five composers, demonstrating once again the importance of portfolio careers and the interdependence within the professional music sector. Continued overleaf 

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Profile for Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM)

Music Journal September-October 2012  

magazine of the Incorporated Society of Musicians

Music Journal September-October 2012  

magazine of the Incorporated Society of Musicians