ISCM World Music Days Shortlist Announcement

ISCM 2020 Shortlist
Friday 20th August 2019
Produced by: 
The International Society for Contemporary Music in partnership with Sound and Music

The ISCM World Music Days Festival 2020 is taking place in New Zealand

The shortlist for the ISCM British Section's represented composers has now been announced...

Thank you to those who applied to the British Section to be selected for the ISCM World Music Days 2020. We are delighted to announce the composers whose works have been submitted to the ISCM's International Jury:

Manuella Blackburn

Tom Coult

Joe Cutler

Matthew Kaner

James Moriarty

Naomi Pinnock

Please read on for more about them and their selected work. At least one of these works will be included in the festival programme of the ISCM World New Music Days taking place in Auckland and Christchurch, New Zealand, in May 2020. We will work with the programmed composer to secure funding for their attendance in the festival, an opportunity for them to have their work heard by a wide array of new music promoters and New Zealand audiences, and to meet many other composers.

Naomi Pinnock - The field is woven

©Amy Newiss


Naomi Pinnock was born in West Yorkshire. She has collaborated with groups such as the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Adapter, Arditti Quartet, London Sinfonietta, Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, Schola Heidelberg and with soloists including Frode Haltli, Omar Ebrahim and Rolf Hind. Her work has been performed at various international music festivals including hcmf//, Tectonics Glasgow, Ultraschall Berlin, Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik, ECLAT Festival Stuttgart and Only Connect, Norway. Current collaborations include new work with performance-maker Nic Green and soprano Juliet Fraser with the Sonar Quartett. 


Joe Cutler - McNulty


For more than twenty years, Joe Cutler has been an unclassifiable figure on the UK contemporary music scene, working on the cusps of the contemporary classical, post-minimalist and jazz scenes.

With collaborators ranging from the London Symphony Orchestra to Evan Parker and Orkest de Ereprijs to Vince Mendoza, his music has been performed in over forty countries and on six continents including performances at festivals and venues such as Bang-on-a-Can Music Marathon (New York), Gaudeamus Music Week (Amsterdam and Utrecht), Opera City (Tokyo), Musik Monat (Basle), Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Beijing Modern Music Festival, London Jazz Festival and the BBC Proms.


 Joe Cutler

Matthew Kaner - Echoes in the Stillness

Matthew Kaner's works are performed and broadcast widely in the UK and abroad. His music has been described as "forlornly exquisite" (New Statesman 2016) and received praise for its "long and sinuous lines" (Telegraph 2013) and "darker and wilder energy, which seems to be entirely personal." (HK Interlude 2016) 

Matthew was the Sound and Music/Radio 3 Embedded Composer in 2016 for the duration of the station's 70th anniversary celebrations, during which he wrote fourteen works for repeated broadcasts, for performers including Guy Johnston, Mark Simpson, the BBC Singers and many others. He has also been commissioned by the LSO, Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra and the London Sinfonietta amongst others. His 2018 collaboration with Poet Laureate Simon Armitage, Hansel and Gretel, was acclaimed as "an all too timely reminder of some children's living, waking, starving nightmare" (4* Guardian review).

 Matthew Kaner

James Moriarty - Sounding Space


James Moriarty is a London-based composer and workshop leader. His work exhibits an extraordinary breadth, including everything from experimental new music to collaborations with young musicians, and has seen him work with organisations such as the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Academy of Music and Royal Albert Hall. Fuelled by a belief that everyone is capable of meaningful creative activity, he seeks to develop powerful artistic work in the widest possible range of contexts.

 James Moriarty

Manuella Blackburn - Landline


Dr Manuella Blackburn was born in London, and currently resides in Manchester, UK. She completed her PhD in electroacoustic music composition in 2010 with the supervision of Professor Ricardo Climent at the University of Manchester. Manuella began lecturing at Liverpool Hope University in 2010 and has currently held the post of Senior Lecturer in Music for eight years. She has been composing for over twelve years and has created a wide range of electroacoustic music works for instruments and electronics, fixed media, sound installation work, music for dance and for film. Her music is published on the Montreal-based label, Emprientes DIGITALes.

Listen here

More information here

Tom Coult - String Quartet

©Timothy Lutton

Tom Coult is a composer born in London in 1988. Orchestral and large ensemble works have been performed by BBC Symphony and Philharmonic Orchestras (including 'St John's Dance' for the First Night of the 2017 BBC Proms), Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras, Britten Sinfonia and London Sinfonietta (including 'Spirit of the Staircase', nominated for a Sky Arts Award). 'Violet', a new chamber opera for the Aldeburgh Festival, Music Theatre Wales and Theater Magdeburg, will tour the UK in Summer and Autumn 2020. Tom Coult was an Embedded composer with Sound and Music in 2012-13.  

 Tom Coult

The decision of the ISCM International jury regarding the selection of work(s) that will be performed at World Music Days 2020 will be announced later in 2019. 


See past selected works from the British Section of ISCM >>

Thank you to The Bliss Trust for the Arthur Bliss Travel Award, which supports composers to travel to ISCM.

Sound and Music encourages our audiences to join the Bliss Society.


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