'It gives me great pleasure, as one of NMC’s Founding Patrons, to join the celebrations for what has been achieved over the last quarter of a century! Because recordings have been such an important part of my own career, I know how much value recorded music has for audiences across the world, and – as in the case of NMC with its commitment to never deleting titles – across the years. The service NMC provides to British music is unparalleled. The opportunities it gives composers, artists and audiences to discover and share such a wealth of music is something to be treasured. I hope you will join with me both in celebrating what has been achieved so far and in looking to the future of this bold and adventurous organisation with confidence. I hope and believe it will inspire and challenge us for many years to come.'
Sir Simon Rattle OM CBE - NMC Patron
Our anniversary year is officially underway and here’s the heady summary of the activity we have planned in addition to our regular release schedule...
To celebrate our special birthday, we put together a FREE SAMPLER for you. Click on the image to download 8 tracks from our catalogue.
Why not leave us a birthday message in the comments box below (scroll down page) telling us what the work of NMC and its composers means to you?
Our 25th Anniversary activity includes:
Anniversary Opera Releases: Arguably there is no other label which would release three major British contemporary operas in close succession, and we embarked on this as an anniversary project to illustrate the value of our role in bringing works to the catalogue which without NMC would be lost to most audiences, and unavailable internationally. We raised over £40,000 from eight trusts/foundations and over 50 individual donors who supported our Anniversary Opera Appeal in 2013, and as a result recordings of Harrison Birtwistle’s Gawain, Judith Weir’s The Vanishing Bridegroom and Gerald Barry’s The Importance of Being Earnest (rather appropriately inspired by the song Gerald contributed to the NMC Songbook for our 20th Anniversary) will now have a permanent place in the recorded catalogue.
Partnership projects: Over recent years we have developed many successful partnerships with other organisations whose collaboration we highly value. In our anniversary year these feed into existing series or projects, such as London Sinfonietta’s key involvement in our Larry Goves release, and the Hallé’s particular championing of both John Casken and their Associate Composer Helen Grime. We have been particularly pleased to work for the first time with two leading dance companies, giving us the opportunity to take the work of NMC to a wider arts audience. Our release of works by Mark-Anthony Turnage showcases recent collaborations with two of Britain's leading contemporary dance companies, Sadler's Wells and Rambert, with whom we are now planning future projects. And later this year we will be announcing details of our boldest, biggest, and most exciting partnership project, involving the Science Museum and Aurora Orchestra.
Next Wave (Higher Education Programme): Working with Sound & Music to offer professional support, mentoring and commissioning to a dozen talented student composers we’re aiming to bridge the tricky gap between composing in a university setting and pursuing a career as a professional composer. The 12 composers are introduced on the Sound and Music website.
String Quartets: Back in 2010, NMC recognised a gap in our catalogue that reflected current compositional trends where British composers, beyond a few notable exceptions, were shying away from the string quartet form. While NMC’s Artistic Panel selects works to be recorded based on quality above anything else, we felt it appropriate to rebalance our output of string quartet recordings and to use this initiative to commission new works for the genre. We approached Wigmore Hall as the leading venue for chamber music – with inbuilt performance opportunities, commissioning mechanisms and contact with leading quartet performers. With its notable track-record of working with contemporary composers and on-going commitment to international commissioning, Wigmore Hall is the perfect partner for us. The collaboration will see six quartets commissioned, premiered and released on NMC in two volumes over the next couple of years, featuring: Mark-Anthony Turnage + Belcea Quartet; Simon Holt + Jack Quartet; Anthony Gilbert + Carducci Quartet; Helen Grime + Heath Quartet; Donnacha Dennehy + Doric Quartet; and Paul Newland + Elias Quartet.
Our commitment to the brightest of new composing talents continues apace with further release in 2014 of our landmark Debut Disc series, launched in 2011 thanks to the generous support of Trusts and individuals through the ‘Big Give’ funding initiative. Richard Causton, Larry Goves, Ben Foskett, Helen Grime and Charlotte Bray will benefit from their first portrait disc, raising the profile of their work and bringing it to international attention, which will no doubt benefit their further careers.
Download only releases: Following the success of our involvement in the PRSF New Music20x12 we are the digital provider for the 2014 New Music Biennial, celebrating Glasgow’s hosting of the XX Commonwealth Games. We will make live recordings taken by BBC Radio 3 available as downloads, thus providing this project, and its innovative approach to commissioning and performance across a number of musical genres, with a lasting digital legacy and an international audience.
Britten Pears Foundation: We are delighted to confirm that BPF has agreed to contribute annual core funding to NMC with a slice of the investment supporting our commissioning activity, which is a key part of our anniversary programme but also important in ensuring that NMC’s business model is sustainable. BPF’s support is crucial in helping to address the loss of NMC’s Holst Foundation funding from 2015 and we are most grateful to the BPF trustees.