Scottish Awards for New Music Shortlist Announced

Published: 17 Jun 2021

Scottish Awards for New Music 2021

New Music Scotland (NMS) has announced the shortlist of nominees for the 2021 Scottish Awards for New Music. Once again, NMS received an exceptional level of submissions which were adjudicated by a panel of key figures in the music world.

Andy Saunders, Co-Chair, New Music Scotland, said: “The variety and number of works and projects nominated this year was incredibly impressive, given the situation that the music world has faced over the last year. There were some stunningly creative ideas, and a consistently high level of artistic integrity within the nominations. To see that so much brilliant music making was going on is nothing short of inspirational.”

The winners will be announced at the 2021 Scottish Awards for New Music ceremony on Wednesday 7 July via the NMS website. Streamed live from the RSNO Centre, Glasgow and presented by Tom Service, it will feature a performance by RSNO violist Katherine Wren, the driving force behind Nordic Viola, of Legend, commissioned from Eddie McGuire in 1974 by the late Jimmy Durrant.

The shortlisted nominees are as follows:

Good Spirits Co Award for Innovation in New Traditional Music

  • My Light Shines On: Aidan O’Rourke with Brìghde Chaimbeul, Bashir Saade, Rachel Sermani and Graeme Stephen/Edinburgh International Festival
  • The Declaration: GRIT Orchestra
  • Down the Line: Alastair Savage and Charli Ashton

Award for Large Scale New Work (11+ performers), sponsored by PRS for Music

  • Above the Stars: Aileen Sweeney
  • Pharmakeia: James Dillon
  • This Departing Landscape: Martin Suckling
  • Night Thoughts: Matthew Whiteside
  • Vigil I: Ninfea Cruttwell-Reade

Mark McKergow Award for Innovation in Jazz

  • Corto Alto: Liam Shortall
  • Deepening the River: Paul Towndrow
  • Playtime

Award for Installation/Sound Art/Electroacoustic New Work

  • Be Mine in Patience: an embrace in B Minor – Michael Begg
  • Cheap Emotions: Darlene Zarabozo
  • Stolen Voices: Rebecca Collins
  • these bones, this flesh, this skin: Martin Suckling with Joan Clevillé and Genevieve Reeves

The ISM Award for New Music in Covid Times

  • Distant Duets: Drake Music Scotland/Tinderbox Collective
  • Be Mine in Patience: an embrace in B minor – Michael Begg
  • Lochan Sketches: Nevis Ensemble
  • Covid-19 Sound Map: Pete Stollery

Award for Environmental Sustainability

  • Let Them Not Say: Chris Hutchings/Choirs for Climate
  • Lochan Sketches: Nevis Ensemble
  • Scottish Classical Sustainability Group: Nevis Ensemble/Scottish Ensemble/various

Award for the Recording of New Music sponsored by VoxCarynx

  • Erocean: LivMassive and Hessian Renegade
  • The Night With… Live Vol. One
  • Letters: David Fennessy
  • From Ocean’s Floor: Linda Buckley

The Dorico Award for Small/Medium Scale Work, sponsored by Steinberg

  • Reflecting Instruments: David Horne
  • High Energy Music: Nora Marazaite
  • Archipelago: transmissions between islands – Lisa Robertson
  • Plastica: Edwin Hillier

The Dorico Award for Solo Work, sponsored by Steinberg.

  • Skydance: Ailie Robertson
  • Her Lullaby: Martin Suckling
  • Curious-er: Sonia Allori
  • Omanjana: Simon Thacker

The SMIA Award for Creative Programming

  • Sonic Bites: Cryptic
  • Breathe and Draw: Nevis Ensemble/Alex Ho
  • Sound Festival 2020: Sound Scotland
  • 2020 programme: Scottish Ensemble

The RCS Award for Education/Community Project

  • StAMP: Wallace Collection/St Andrew’s University
  • Intersections: Exploration 2020
  • Sonic Bothy

Award for New Music in Media

  • The Trial of Alex Salmond: Francis Macdonald
  • Sayo: Luci Holland
  • Henry Glassie Field Work: Linda Buckley

The RCS Award for Making It Happen

  • Aileen Sweeney and Ben Eames: Ear to the Ground
  • Ollie Hawker: The Owen Wilson Elegies
  • Rufus Isabel Eliot: OVER / AT

The 2021 panellists were:

  • Kate Ellis: Cellist & Artistic Director, Crash Ensemble
  • Saeunn Thorsteinsdóttir: Cellist & Co-Artistic Director, Decoda
  • Lindsay Pell: BBC Radio 3/Radio Scotland
  • James Clapperton: Composer, pianist and festival director
  • Alisson Kruusmaa: Composer
  • Vimbayi Kaziboni: conductor (regular guest with Ensemble Modern, Ensemble InterContemporain)
  • Lenny Sayers: clarinetist (BBC NoW), composer and animateur
  • Susanne Stanzeleit: violinist (Primrose Quartet) and producer, Meridian Records
  • Laura Jurd: jazz trumpet and composer
  • Eve O'Donnell: Artistic Producer Composer Initiatives, National Sawdust
  • David Pickard: Director, BBC Proms
  • Alan Morrison: Head of Music, Creative Scotland
  • Jenna Reid: traditional fiddle player and composer
  • Fergus McWilliam: Horn player (Berlin Philharmonic) and Board Member, Sistema Scotland
  • Matthew Studdart-Kennedy: Head of Artistic Planning, Luxembourg Philharmonie
  • Eva Bocker: Cellist, Ensemble Modern
  • Miranda Heggie: Project Manager, BCMG NEXT
  • Ceiri Torjussen: Film composer
  • Fergus Linehan: Director, Edinburgh International Festival
  • Dr Aly McCluskie: Senior Conservation Scientist, RSPB
  • Jane Nicolson: Classical PR Specialist, Classroom Teacher (music specialism)
  • John Kenny: trombonist

The Awards are created by New Music Scotland with support from the National Lottery through Creative Scotland’s Open Project Fund. Award sponsors include Dorico Steinberg, PRS for Music, The Good Spirits Co, Mark McKergow, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, the Incorporated Society of Musicians, the Scottish Music Industry Association, and the Musicians’ Union.


Scottish Awards for New Music 2021
8pm, Wednesday 7th July
Streamed online from the RSNO Centre (via the NMS website)

These are the fifth annual Scottish Awards for New Music. The inaugural Awards were in 2017.

Profiles of the shortlisted entries are now available on New Music Scotland’s website.

New Music Scotland has added two new awards for 2021: New Music for Media, which focuses on music written for film, TV and computer games; and The ISM Award for New Music in Covid Times.

New Music Scotland is a network of composers, performers, programmers, producers, educators, funders and audience.  NMS facilitates the creation, production and promotion of experimental, innovative and imaginative new music. We believe that new music comes from many different cultural traditions and musical practices; what brings us all together is our passion for and belief in the intrinsic value of new music creation for individuals and society as a whole.

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery.
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The Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA) is a not-for-profit trade body and membership organisation which exists to strengthen, empower, and unite Scotland’s music industry.

As a Creative Scotland Regularly Funded Organisation (RFO), we work to create and nurture an inclusive membership community which reflects the full spectrum of Scotland’s music industry. We give voice to our membership when speaking to Government, Parliament and development organisations, and we both produce and support projects and programmes that stimulate sustainability, domestic and international growth, development and innovation in Scotland’s music sector. Our services, projects and events are designed to strengthen and increase the value of Scotland’s music industry on the world stage: economically, socially and culturally.

For further information on the SMIA and its services, projects and events please visit

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The Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) is the UK's professional body for musicians. They support almost 11,000 members across the UK and Ireland with legal advice and representation, comprehensive insurance and specialist services. ISM members come from all areas of the music profession and from a wide variety of genres and musical backgrounds. They campaign tirelessly in support of musicians' rights, music education and the profession as a whole.

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland: Like Nowhere Else

  • Established in 1847
  • Specialist teaching across music, drama, dance, production, film and education
  • The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is a world top three destination to study the performing arts (QS World University Rankings 2021)
  • Scotland’s national conservatoire takes the number one spot for arts, drama and music education in the Complete University Guide 2022
  • More than 1200 students from more than 60 countries
  • Partnerships with national artistic companies
  • One of Scotland’s busiest arts venues with 600+ performances each year (pre-pandemic)
  • More than 3,000 students are taught every year through the Junior Conservatoire and Short Courses, as well as national Fair Access programmes
  • Download the prospectus

Steinberg is known the world over for its music and audio software and hardware solutions. The company has been developing, manufacturing and selling innovative products for musicians and producers in the music, film, post-production and multimedia industries since 1984. Steinberg products are used by Grammy and Oscar award-winning composers, engineers and producers. The company also offers business customers license management and copy-protection systems. Visit for further details.

Dorico is the next-generation scoring software from Steinberg that saves you time. It helps you to write music notation, automatically producing printed results of exceptional quality – and plays it back with breath taking realism. It is easy enough for anyone to learn, yet has hundreds of advanced notations, features, options and sounds to satisfy even the most demanding professionals. Visit for further details.

Media Contact

For additional press details, please contact:

Catherine Gillespie
07474 402698

Andy Saunders 
07794 159214