roundup REVIEW OF 2012/13
NMC – Challenging New Music NMC’s mission is to connect listeners with the best contemporary music from the British Isles, and our vision is to ensure that an ever-growing audience experiences the inspirational and challenging music of today’s composers through the expansion and preservation of our collection. NMC enjoys a unique position as the new music charity through which composers, performers and international audiences are connected. NMC fulfils these aims by:
• • • •
Collaborating with leading composers, artists and ensembles Producing high quality recordings of outstanding work Promoting our recordings and other resources to expand audiences for new music Preserving this creativity for generations to come
Photo: Arlene Sierra
Photo: Ben McMillan
Producer David Lefeber (L) with composer Kenneth Hesketh (R) in the control room at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall
NMC was founded in 1989 with the support of the Holst Foundation. Colin Matthews and Imogen Holst had set up the Foundation in 1984 to support the work of living composers. A concert of contemporary music at the 1987 Aldeburgh Festival played to a full house but was not broadcast, and led Colin to propose that recordings were the key to reaching audiences beyond the concert hall. New Music Cassettes released NMC D001 – Jonathan Harvey’s Bhakti – in January 1989. As we approach our 25th anniversary in 2014/15 and considering the speed at which music purchasing and listening habits are changing, NMC’s role in supporting composers is as relevant and vital as ever.
NMC’s status Retorica: Philippa Mo (L) and Harriet Mackenzie (R)
For me, creating music is among other things a way of communicating the fact that idealistic ways of thinking can be brought to practical realisation. NMC is almost alone certainly in the UK - in making available such a breadth of contemporary composition without the risk-deadening effect of short-term commercial considerations, another kind of practical idealism which I believe deserves to be cherished. Richard Barrett, composer
NMC remains an indispensable player in the arts and new music sectors, fulfilling a unique role for composers and the promotion of new music. It is our charitable status that enables us to record and promote the highest quality work without the overwhelming influence of sales potential, and to provide the crucial piece of the jigsaw that ensures investment in commissioning and premieres leads to an international listenership and – through our distinctive non-deletions policy – a permanent archive of new British music for the nation. NMC relies on public funding and the support of trusts and foundations, our generous donors and Friends, and collaborating partners.
Chair’s Message A year of collaboration, innovation and transition … Over the last year, NMC has continued to build on our strong foundations of artistic excellence and we are delighted to have received continued critical recognition. Our commitment to collaboration with other arts organisations and our technological innovation are also helping us to reach new audiences; this approach will increasingly illuminate our work. NMC was grateful to receive support to develop our innovative Music Map, enabling partners and collaborators to embed it into their websites thus creating another way to diversify our audiences. This review highlights some of the high acclaim that the national and specialist music press have conferred on NMC’s releases during the year. It is particularly gratifying to see recognition for emerging composers notably our first Debut Disc releases from Dai Fujikura, Sam Hayden and Huw Watkins. Not only were these some of our best sellers of the year but they also took British contemporary music to wider audiences overseas. Richard Shoylekov, Chair
Technology and partnerships came together with our involvement in the PRS for Music Foundation-led New Music 20x12 commissions to mark the London Olympics. This and other budding partnerships have particular significance for NMC as we implement a new funding model to sustain us through the winding up of the Holst Foundation in 2015. It’s every composer’s Throughout 2012/13, we continued to focus on robust governance; we increased our strategic planning function and boosted the Board’s pool of expertise adding recording industry, fundraising, marketing, higher education, conservatoire and digital enterprise skills and experience.
dream to have a compact disc devoted to their own music. The beautifully-produced CD NMC made of my music has been a most effective way of taking music to a wider audience. Huw Watkins, composer
So as we look ahead to our 25th anniversary NMC has once again delivered a year of artistic triumphs built on recording, promoting and preserving excellent new British music. What is very clear to me is that NMC is not short of ideas and ambition; what we seek is a secure funding position to ensure that our indispensable role will support today’s and tomorrow’s talented British composers. We are grateful to Arts Council England for its continuing support, which provides a pivotal role in endorsing and securing broader support for our work, to the enlightened trusts and foundations that have appreciated NMC’s vision, and of course to our Friends and donors - notably those who have signed up to our new Producers’ Circle. Thank you!
Recognition Oliver Knussen: Autumnal • Gramophone Editor’s Choice (Jan 2013) • WQXR (New York Radio) Album of the Week (Dec 2012) • IRR Outstanding Recording (2012) Dai Fujikura: Secret Forest • Guardian/Observer Critics’ best classical albums of 2012 • 5:4 Best Albums of 2012 • BBC Music Magazine SSSSS five star review Michael Finnissy: Second & Third String Quartets • Sunday Times Top 100 Albums of 2012
Since the release of our recording we’ve been delighted that the genre of two violin repertoire has attracted such attention and serious consideration. Our association with NMC has enabled us to forge new relationships with composers, leading to several exciting new projects. We’ve been delighted that the composers on the disc have received more recognition and are proud that these pieces are now available for people to discover on a label that is so well respected among musicians and listeners alike. Harriet Mackenzie & Philippa Mo, Retorica
Retorica: English Violin Duos • Gramophone Choice of the Month (April 2013) New Music 20x12
• Observer Critics’ Hidden Gems of 2012 • RPS Award for Audience and Engagement Richard Barrett: Dark Matter • 5:4 Best Albums of 2012
Best Sellers 1 Oliver Knussen: Autumnal 2 Dai Fujikura: Secret Forest 3 Jonathan Harvey: Bird Concerto Dai Fujikura, composer
Photo: Ai Ueda
2012 /13 Highlights
Photo: Maurice Foxall
We can reflect on 2012/13 as the year when NMC’s artistic objectives and our developing approach to collaboration came together, reinforcing our position as an irreplaceable part of the new music world, and consolidating both artistic and audience development. Partnerships across the sector are indeed crucial to NMC’s future.
My Debut Discs CD has certainly been invaluable in raising the profile of my work, helping to secure new projects, and giving my music added credibility especially with ensembles and promoters from the European new music scene. Sam Hayden, composer
The first three of twelve Debut Disc releases appeared in June 2012, from Huw Watkins, Sam Hayden and Dai Fujikura. This series is a vital element of our on-going support for emerging composers, endorsed by the project’s ambassador Sir Peter Maxwell Davies as providing “a viable platform, realistic professional development and international exposure to ensure their future as established classical composers”. NMC’s unique position in being able to provide this platform for composers who are not commercially proven ensures that emerging talent is not overlooked. We were delighted to be able to include a cross-arts element to this project too, working with Central St Martins College of Arts and Design where students were An opportunity inspired by each composer’s music to create a visual response like this that NMC gives to the creative process with the results becoming the CD to these very, very deserving covers for the Series. The next composers to be featured and talented composers is, not are Joseph Phibbs, Richard Causton and Ben Foskett. only for me but for all of us, a
Colin Matthews OBE, Executive Producer
chance to learn, a chance to come in to contact with something which is vibrant and alive … they really do feel that it is a hell of a job to break through and to get anybody to take any notice of them and I’m very moved and very touched that Debut Discs is presented to these young people as a wonderful opportunity to get their work out there. Sir Peter Maxwell Davies
Our involvement with the PRS for Music Foundation’s New Music 20x12 initiative demonstrated the importance of recording in enabling investment in one-off commissioning to live on indefinitely through a permanent platform that reaches international audiences. The performance of the New Music 20x12 works at the Southbank Centre in July was a remarkable culmination of the project and a deserved winner of the RPS Audience and Engagement Award.
During the year, NMC also produced major releases of work by Alexander Goehr, Oliver Knussen and Tansy Davies, demonstrating our continuing commitment to representing major figures in new music alongside the up-and-coming. The Retorica violin duos disc provided a debut release and platform for two emerging performers as well as the work of the six featured composers; and our Kenneth Hesketh/RLPO and Deirdre Gribbin/Vanbrugh Quartet discs reflected the all-important relationships that composers build with particular performers. All in all, we can approach our anniversary in 2014/15 with a sense of immense pride in the talent NMC is able to showcase and with confidence that the future will continue to be both fulfilling and unexpected. New music will always surprise and delight. 5
Partnerships NMC was created to support composers, so the notion of ‘partnership’ has always been integral to what we do, and 2012/13 saw significant and strategic developments in this area. The results have been most gratifying, both artistically and in terms of the impact they have had on our audience profile and reach. We have worked with a record number of organisations to create and deliver new recordings from a more diverse artistic base, and expanded our work across a number of art forms including visual art and contemporary dance. We were partners in several significant events including the New Music 20x12 weekend at London’s Southbank Centre, the Aldeburgh Festival and the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. We embarked on a brand new artistic collaboration with the Hallé, and initiated a number of on-going digital projects including with Sound and Music. We also instigated collaborations to mark our forthcoming anniversary including: a higher education writing/recording/performance project; a series focusing on emerging performers; and a commissioning project to meld music, art and science. We look forward to reaping the artistic and audience development rewards of these collaborations.
One of the aims of New Music 20x12 was to create excellent new repertoire that would be performed and enjoyed long after the Olympic celebrations had come to an end. Our partnership with NMC is enabling us to achieve this and we’re proud that all 20 commissions can continue to reach new listeners thanks to NMC’s commitment and vision. Vanessa Reed, Executive Director, PRS for Music Foundation
Photo: Owen Richards
Jason Yarde & Wonderbrass at New Music 20x12 weekend
In 2012/13 NMC worked with leading artists and ensembles including: Claire Booth Loré Lixenberg Patricia Rozario Hilary Summers Leila Josefowicz Alexandra Wood Alina Ibragimova Melvyn Tan Huw Watkins Ryan Wigglesworth BBC Symphony Orchestra Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra ASKO Ensemble & Schönberg Ensemble BCMG Cikada ELISION Ensemble 10/10 ensemble mosaik The Nash Ensemble Okeanos RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet Concordia Retorica Royal Academy of Music Oliver Knussen Christian Eggen Christoph-Mathias Mueller Enno Poppe Clark Rundell
For New Music 20x12: European Union Youth Orchestra Graham Fitkin Band London Chamber Orchestra National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment Rambert Orchestra Black Dyke Band Coull Quartet Drake Music Scotland EXAUDI The Imagined Village The Julian Joseph Sextet Wonderbrass Glyn Maxwell Ian McMillan Juliet Stevenson Aidan O’Rourke Quintet
Photo: Jamie Campbell
Thank you NMC for the amazing work that you do supporting composers and making impressive recordings for us.
Debut Discs launch at the ICA
Alfred Brendel Hon KBE, NMC Patron
Fundraising NMC continued to consolidate our fundraising activity in 2012/13 with an expanded mix of funding partners and donors. Successes included:
Significant investment from The Hinrichsen Foundation to enable our seven-release Hallé collaboration
Launch of our Producers’ Circle to encourage larger donations and deeper engagement from donors while ensuring the release of ‘hidden gems’
12% increase in our Friends base
Continued support of the RVW Trust notably towards our four-year Debut Discs initiative
Continued investment from our Corporate Friends BASCA, Faber Music, The Music Sales Group, the Incorporated Society of Musicians, and RSK Entertainment
Events including: Friends gathering with the Kreutzer Quartet and Michael Finnissy; Debut Discs launch at the ICA with Sir Peter Maxwell Davies; and a partnership with The Bulldog Trust at Two Temple Place where we welcomed significant guests to an edifying evening with Sir Harrison Birtwistle and NMC Patron Alfred Brendel
Launch of our 25th anniversary Opera Appeal to ensure we can release three landmark contemporary operas in 2014
Under its ‘new initiatives’ strategy, The Hinrichsen Foundation is delighted to be supporting NMC’s collaboration with the Hallé. Enabling performances of exciting new music is what the Foundation is about, but opportunities to support young composers in getting their orchestral music played and recorded crop up less often. The combination of NMC and the Hallé is a winning one, which the Foundation couldn’t resist! Jonathan Cross, Trustee, Hinrichsen Foundation
The illustration on page 10 summarises NMC’s income position for 2012/13. Going forward, we are developing a revised funding model to sustain NMC as a viable organisation beyond the cessation of our Holst Foundation funding in 2015. This includes pursuing income from a wider range of trusts and foundations, building on projects developed through new artistic partnerships, and an organisational development plan to access tools to help NMC expand our customer and donor bases. 7
Sales & Audience Development Total Sales (% revenue)
I was very proud to have my first disc out on NMC, and glad that it sold so well internationally as the second best-selling disc on NMC in 2012/13. I know for sure that my music has been listened to more since this disc has been released. Dai Fujikura, composer
Sales highlights • Digital sales up 26% on 11/12 • Digital sales accounted for 24% of overall sales •
(20% in 11/12; classical industry standard 17.9%* and whole industry 30.4%*) Total sales maintained from 11/12 (industry standard classical market down 11%*)
*source BPI Yearbook 2013
Social Media • Twitter: 3,001 followers by year end • •
(88% increase on 11/12) Facebook: 313 likes (71% increase on 11/12) E-newsletter: 2,044 subscribers (5% increase on 11/12)
Website (at Feb 2013) Once again, we pulled in excess of 5,000 visitors a month to our website with Tom Service’s Guardian blog generating the most referrals in January 2013, closely followed by Facebook and Twitter. • Average views per month: 5007 • Average duration on site: 1min 55sec • Top page views: home page followed by composer page • Top referrals: Guardian, Facebook • 12% of visitors viewed the website on a mobile 8
We saw increased sales in Japan led by Dai Fujikura’s Secret Forest. Here is Dai’s disc in Tower Records Tokyo. Our Japanese distributor Tobu created a copy of the CD booklet in Japanese.
Huw Watkins video on In my craft or sullen art produced with RSK Entertainment
Digital projects PRS for Music Foundation New Music 20x12: • High profile partnership within Cultural Olympiad programme • Dedicated project page at www.nmcrec.co.uk/new-music-20x12 • Subscription package for all 20 downloads • Monthly Gramophone promotions of the commissions via its online blog • Significant increase in Twitter activity generating almost 600 new followers • Increased sales via NMC’s online store (sales up 39% partly due to 20x12) • Improved Music Map links to non-classical artists • Awareness of NMC among a more diverse audience BCMG 25th anniversary campaign: • Dedicated product page at www.nmcrec.co.uk/bcmg25 • Curated digital sampler with discounts, flyers & online promotion Variations for Judith: • Dedicated project page at www.nmcrec.co.uk/variations-judith • Digital release of new piano works written for amateur pianists performed by Melvyn Tan • Download promotion with Spitalfields Festival • Collaborative social media activity Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival: • Dedicated project page at www.nmcrec.co.uk/hcmf2012 • Curated digital sampler • iTunes UK classical store front page promotion • NMC CDs on sale at Festival venues • Music Map installation • Collaborative social media activity
Licensing As we looked to diversify our funding base and secure a sustainable future we expanded licensing activity, creating a dedicated website to: illustrate where NMC works have previously been licensed to third parties (eg Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life); highlight suitable musical examples from across our catalogue; and provide information for prospective clients on how to licence from us. NMC tracks were used in Last Will and Testament, a Tony Benn documentary (Barry Guy: After the Rain), and Peace and Conflict directed by Tony Britten and narrated by John Hurt (Benjamin Britten: Night Mail). We continued to promote licensing options with publishers and agencies, and ensured that foundations were in place to create a viable income stream.
NMC Music Map In 2012, we increased the interactivity of our online Music Map educational tool thanks to the generous support of the Boltini Trust. These changes enabled the Map to be embedded on third party websites thus providing rich content for ensembles, promoters, venues and publishers who can focus the Map on the composer of their choice. We ensured that personal Map journeys can be shared on social networking sites, enhanced the search functions, and added an improved audio player. The updated Music Map launched at the New Music 20x12 weekend at the Southbank Centre where it was installed in the Queen Elizabeth Hall foyer on three computers for the public to explore. The Map was also installed at HCMF, and gained favourable music press coverage.
Financials 2012-13 Expenditure by type
Expenditure The amount we invested in originating and distributing our work rose to 73% of total expenditure. We increased our investment in fundraising and stewardship, and in strategic planning as NMC worked towards building a sustainable future.
2012-13 Income by type (%) * includes pledged funding
Income Pledged and received funding from trusts and foundations increased by 87% on 2011/12. In the context of a difficult retail market we increased earned income from sales by 4%. Funding from trusts and foundations (excluding Holst) and donations rose from 28% of our total income in 2011/12 to 36% in 2012/13.
Reserves During 2012/13, the Board instigated a strategic plan to build towards an enhanced reserve to mitigate the effects of the cessation of NMCâ€™s Holst Foundation funding. 2012-13 Income by type (ÂŁ000)
* includes pledged funding
140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 Holst
Donations Legacies Friends
Press Recognition in 2012/13 Huw Watkins: In My Craft or Sullen Art “ Lyricism flourishes, and tonal echoes are exposed alongside chromatic scrunches and abrasive textures ... a splendid portrait disc in NMC’s stand of debuts.”
Sam Hayden: presence/absence “ A disc which deserves attention from all inquiring listeners for some seriously impressive music-making.” Gramophone
BBC Music Magazine
Variations for Judith “ Each piece flows from one to the next, abetted by Tan’s mellifluous and caring interpretations. A most enjoyable, enchanting 22 minutes of music, well worth downloading.” Gramophone
Dai Fujikura: Secret Forest “ Exceptionally striking pieces combining mastery of texture and form with a marvellous sense of compositional pacing and gesture. Secret Forest is especially sublime.” SSSSS
BBC Music Magazine
Oliver Knussen: Autumnal “ The performances, several from the artists such as Josefowicz and Claire Booth for whom the works were written, are superb, and much of the music ranks among the finest composed in this country in recent decades.” SSSSS
Andrew Clements, The Guardian
Retorica: English Violin Duos “ Superbly responsive playing by Harriet Mackenzie and Philippa Mo who project the music’s often intricate contrapuntal interweaving with faultless technique and unfailing insight. An auspicious release from Retorica ... I hope that more will follow.” Gramophone
Richard Barrett: Dark Matter “ This is one of the most dazzling displays of contemporary music ever recorded … it practically defies belief to hear Barrett’s music - or indeed, any music - played with such unshakeable conviction and commitment … a masterpiece.” 5:4
Tansy Davies: Spine “ It’s hard to think of another British composer whose rise through the hierarchy of British music has been so rapid ... as this disc shows, her music is at its most compelling when it creates vivid textures, drawing on rock and pop idioms to give it edge and pungency.” The Guardian
New Music 20x12 “ ... a real success story.” Paul Morley, The Review Show on BBC2
Alexander Goehr: Colossos or Panic “ A force to be reckoned with in British music … an impressive musical span, which Knussen energises quite wonderfully.” The Guardian
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NMC Patrons Alfred Brendel Hon KBE Vladimir Jurowski Lady Panufnik Sir Simon Rattle CBE Lord Dennis Stevenson of Coddenham Dame Mitsuko Uchida
NMC Recordings is a registered charity no: 328052
NMC’s mission is to connect listeners with the best contemporary music from the British Isles, and our vision is to ensure that an ever-grow...