Celebrating 25 years of NMC Recordings

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 which includes five new Debut Discs, London Sinfonietta Sinfonietta Shorts  and New Music Biennial downloads working with PRS for Music Foundation and BBC Radio 3 once again on 20 commissions for Glasgow Culture 2014 and the XX Commonwealth Games.


NMC SheepBirthday message

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:

GawainOpera Appeal: NMC is delighted to announce that our three landmark opera releases for our 25th anniversary year are now officially in our release schedule. We raised over £40,000 from eight trusts/foundations and over 50 individual donors and will release Harrison Birtwistle's Gawain on 19 May. Judith Weir's The Vanishing Bridegroom will be released on 21 July and Gerald Barry's The Importance of being Earnest on 24 November. The Barbican's Birtwistle at 80 series is presenting several celebratory concerts including Gawain with BBCSO/Martyn Brabbins on 16 May – see you there!





HalleHallé collaboration: NMC has plotted no less than seven releases with the Hallé starting with John Casken’s Orion over Farne. It’s a terrific partnership that adds significant orchestral repertoire to our catalogue, enables our music to feature in the Hallé’s programming ensuring increased profile for the pieces and composers, ensures joint marketing and builds a model that NMC can hopefully offer other orchestras; for the Hallé it offers fresh and challenging repertoire for its audiences and players with opportunities for chamber and solo roles for principals, and a new route to promoting Manchester’s continuing contribution to new music. The collaboration will enable the addition of the orchestral work From Trumpet to the Debut Disc devoted to the work of Ben Foskett to be released in June. Later this autumn, we will release an all-Hallé disc of works by its current Associate Composer Helen Grime. This features works for orchestra and chamber forces from within the Hallé with a solo role for Principal Clarinettist Lynsey Marsh. Details of future Hallé projects will be announced later this year.


Sound and Music logoHigher 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.


Wigmore Hall LogoWigmore Hall 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. This project is supported by The Barbara Whatmore Charitable Trust and the Hargreaves and Ball Trust.


Also ...

BPF logoBritten 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.


Lots more announcements will be made in the coming weeks. Watch this space!


Dear NMC, Wishing you a fantastic 25th Anniversary year - and long may you continue! I've been listening to your list of works for as long as I can remember. Emily Howard

in a climate which is now hostile to anything other than the crudely commercial, NMC is a beacon of light in the wilderness. My 1978 piece CRY was put on to CD by NMC in about 1990, and has been kept available and on sale for more than 20 years by them. Had it not been for this, it would have been discontinued (or probably pulped) and the piece would have been forgotten. My undying gratitude . . .

Happy 25th Birthday, NMC! 25 years of essential work in British contemporary classical music - long may NMC continue to flourish - and congratulations to Colin and all the team who make it possible.

It is difficult to imagine that the ranks of composers of previous generations are not seething with envy over the phenomenal advocacy, promotion, and top-quality production values that modern composers receive from NMC's endeavors. Thank you for your twenty-five years of support of the best in new music; if only there were similar initiatives from organizations of NMC's dedication and skill here in the USA and elsewhere!

Happy 25th NMC! I'm very happy to be on the label, in such august company. Keep up the good work. Christopher

Congratulations on a fantastic 25 years. The contemporary classical music world would be a poorer place without NMC.

Happy 25th! Thank you so much for all your tireless energy in promoting UK composers, a true institution. Ben

Congratulations on 25 years of indispensible, top quality recordings of outstanding British music! Keep doing it. And I'm really sorry I cant be at the party - because I'm elsewhere supervising a recording. Geoff

So glad to have been a part of this venture, ever since its inception, 25 years ago. I was thrilled to read today's ecstatic reviews of JC's orchestral Orion and JA's new opera Thebes. Just two of the finest of the hundreds of living British composers you champion. As the trusted archive of all that is best in the UK we have to support NMC into the next 25 years, and beyond. Happy birthdays Colin, Helen and the rest of your enthusiastic team, Vic Hoyland

Many happy returns to the best contemporary music label in the UK. Here's to the next 25 years. Very best wishes Matthew

Having been there at the beginning (can't BELIEVE that was 25 years ago!) it is lovely to see you all grown up and going from strength to strength. Happy Birthday NMC - Composers are lucky to have you (and so are we listeners!) :-) Rosie x

Thank you for some of the finest music I have listened to over the years. I am grateful to have been able to access such composers as Julian Anderson, David Matthews and Simon Bainbridge, to name just a few. The world of contemporary music would be impoverished without NMC. Submitted by Frederick Lightfoot.


What a wonderful British institution NMC are! A real model for how contemporary music should be distributed by every country to the wider world. SM

Happy birthday from compositiontoday.com! NMC is such a vital part of the contemporary music landscape in the UK that it is hard to imagine where we would be without it. Thank you for making so much wonderful music available and for your tireless work in supporting UK composers.

Indispensable! If I could afford your entire production, I would! CM

Extraordinary A&R: vital, engaging music. Your recordings fly in the face of all the blather about the "death of classical music." Many of us are still highly interested in cds and in contemporary music of this quality. Keep the recordings coming! Providence, RI, USA



(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a><p><span><div><h1><h2><h3><h4><h5><h6><img><map><area><hr><br><br /><ul><ol><li><dl><dt><dd><table><tr><td><em><b><u><i><strong><font><del><ins><sub><sup><quote><blockquote><pre><address><code><cite><embed><object><param><strike><caption>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.