Thea Musgrave wins The Ivors Classical Music Award

Thea Musgrave wins The Ivors Classical Music Award
© Bryan Sheffield
On May 31 at the 63rd Ivor Novello Awards held at Grosvenor House, London, the Scottish-American composer Thea Musgrave was presented with The Ivors Classical Music Award, in recognition of her outstanding body of work in the classical genre.

The award coincides with Musgrave’s ninetieth birthday (May 27), which is being celebrated throughout 2018 at a host of events.

Thea Musgrave, upon receiving the award, said:

Whether one dances for joy or laments for loss, we are able to communicate our truest human nature to others through music even as we experience it to the fullest for ourselves. Music is basic to the human spirit.
The fact that those voices — of the Ancient Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Chinese, Africans — are still heard today attests to both the importance and tenacity of artistic communication.

Closer to our time, the fact that Monteverdi, Bach, Mozart, Wagner, Stravinsky and Britten are still top of the charts even after all these years, confirms the power of classical music.

That is the mission I am proud to be part of. And I believe that is the true meaning of the life and legacy of Ivor Novello.

I am enormously proud to be part of that legacy.

The Ivor Novello Awards are the UK’s pinnacle recognition of song writing achievement, celebrating composers of all genres of music. Created by BASCA in 1956, The Ivors have been sponsored by PRS for Music since 1974. Previous recipients of The Ivors Classical Music Award include: Richard Rodney Bennett (2004), John Tavener (2005), Harrison Birtwistle (2006), Jonathan Dove (2008), James MacMillan (2009), Peter Maxwell Davies (2010), Michael Nyman (2011), Errollyn Wallen (2013), John McCabe (2014) and Judith Weir (2015).

Musgrave’s ninetieth birthday celebrations began in February with a weekend-long focus on her music from the Royal Northern College of Music and the BBC Philharmonic, and festivities continue apace. On June 15 the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra will give a portrait concert in Glasgow with Evelyn Glennie and Nicholas Daniel; Wells Cathedral Choir and Matthew Owens will premiere two new choral commissions on June 24; the BBC Proms host a performance of Phoenix Rising on August 7; and Turbulent Landscapes and On the Underground Set No 2 can be heard at the Edinburgh International Festival that same week. She is also the featured composer at the Leicester international Music Festival (20-22 September), and in November four concerts dedicated to Musgrave’s work can be heard in Stockholm as part of the Stockholm International Composer Festival.

Click here for here full performance diary.

Thea Musgrave (b 1928)

Thea Musgrave began her studies in Edinburgh and in 1950 went to Paris to study with Nadia Boulanger, and later in America with Aaron Copland. Moving to the States in the seventies, where she had been a visiting professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, she worked closely with the Virginia Opera Company to develop a unique body of operatic works. Over her sixty-plus years as a composer Musgrave has been commissioned companies such as the Royal Opera House, the BBC Orchestras and Choirs, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra; her works have also been widely performed at major international music festivals such as Edinburgh, Florence Maggio Musicale, Venice Biennale.

Read full biography

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