'NMC has become the label of choice for every aficionado of contemporary British music' – The Times


About NMC

Our Mission

Our Partners

NMC's Annual Review 2011-12

NMC's Annual Review 2012-13

NMC's Annual Review 2013-14

NMC's Annual Review 2014-15


About NMC

NMC Recordings is a record label with charitable status, devoted to the promotion of contemporary classical music from the British Isles. Our award-winning recordings are of the highest quality and feature major international artists. With a catalogue of more than 250 titles, encompassing major established figures and new voices, NMC is rapidly becoming a national archive for new music.


In 2015 NMC was the first organisation to receive the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Leslie Boosey Award for “its outstanding contribution to the furthering of contemporary music in Britain”.


NMC arose almost more by chance than by design. Imogen Holst and Colin Matthews had set up the Holst Foundation in 1984 with the aim of supporting the work of living composers. A significant concert of contemporary music at the Aldeburgh Festival in 1987, funded entirely by the Foundation, attracted a full house, but was not broadcast and so was heard by only 800 people. This led Colin Matthews to propose that recordings were the ideal way to reach a larger audience. The Holst Foundation has been the major funder of NMC ever since our inception in 1989.

Colin Matthews on NMC’s vision

Imogen Holst was a visionary.  When together we established the Holst Foundation, not long before her death in 1984, she was clear that she did not want its future role to be to subsidise her father’s music in the way that most other composer trusts function.  Instead she hoped that it would be able to support the work of living composers; and this is what the Foundation has done for nearly 30 years.  We had talked at length about the possibility of funding recordings, and although it took a while to get NMC off the ground, I have always felt that the label was founded with her blessing, and that she would have approved whole-heartedly of what we have achieved since 1989.

The Holst Foundation’s substantial support is coming to an end (Holst’s copyrights expired in 2004 meaning the Foundation’s income ceased and funds are being run down) and NMC depends more than ever on individual supporters, for whose generosity we are already hugely grateful.  Every gift helps us to keep up our reputation for innovation and independence, for quality and originality, and maintains our indispensable contribution to the world of new music.  NMC seeks to challenge, and we make no secret of the fact that some parts of the catalogue make more demands on our listeners than others.  The rewards for those with open ears are all the greater.  How could this be anything but inspiring?


Our Mission

NMC believes that new music is a dynamic and engaging art.  We always seek to discover and share exceptional work that inspires and challenges.  NMC:

 - produces high quality recordings of outstanding work by composers from the British Isles.
 - works with leading artists and ensembles
 - promotes these recordings to expand worldwide audiences for contemporary music
 - preserves this creativity for generations to come


NMC is an equal opportunities organisation, and staff, trustees and NMC's Patrons are recruited from all backgrounds. NMC’s trustees continue to review the organisation’s diversity policy over all areas.

NMC is a small charity which is unable to record or promote all works submitted to it and the absence of a composer from our catalogue or the Music Map is not to be taken as a judgment of lack of merit.




Download the NMC 2011-12 Annual Review here


NMC 2012-13 Annual Review



NMC 2013-14 Annual Review


NMC 2014-15 Annual Review





Partnership working is a growth area for NMC as we seek to broaden our audience base and expand our artistic horizons. In 2011-12, we began a series of recordings devised and produced in collaboration with the London Sinfonietta, and worked for the first time with the Hallé; and NMC was the Digital Partner of the PRS for Music Foundation New Music 20x12 and New Music Biennial projects, digitally releasing the works commissioned for the initiatives. Our partners include:

    Aldeburgh Music
    Arts Council England
    Aurora Orchestra
    BBC Radio 3
    BBC Singers
    BBC Symphony Orchestra
    The Britten-Pears Foundation
    Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design
    The Hallé
    Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival
    London Sinfonietta
    LSO SoundHub
    Music publishers
    Philharmonia Orchestra
    PRS for Music Foundation
    Sadler's Wells
    Science Museum, London
    Spitalfields Music Festival
    Sound & Music
    Wigmore Hall
    King's College London
    Conservatoire and university music/ composition departments




Royal Philharmonic Society Award NMC Recordings is the recipient of the RPS Leslie Boosey Award for its
"outstanding contribution to the furthering of contemporary music in Britain" 2015-17.

Read our RPS Award blog.


Gramophone Magazine

NMC D015

Robin Holloway: Second Concerto for Orchestra

Gramophone Award 1994

NMC D050

Harrison Birtwistle: The Mask of Orpheus

Gramophone Award 1998

NMC D141

Jonathan Harvey: Body Mandala

Gramophone Award 2008

NMC D150

The NMC Songbook

Gramophone Award 2009

NMC D156

Harrison Birtwistle: Night's Black Bird

Gramophone Award 2011


BBC Music Magazine

NMC D156

Harrison Birtwistle: Night's Black Bird

BBC Music Magazine 2012


Reissues, now available on NMC Ancora series, that have won awards on other labels

NMC D113

John Casken: Golem

Gramophone Award in 1991 (Virgin Classics)

NMC D138

Harrison Birtwistle: Punch & Judy

Gramophone Award in 1980 (Decca Headline)

NMC D200            Harrison Birtwistle: Gawain                                         Gramophone Award in 1996 (Collins Classics)

NMC D148            Harrison Birtwistle: Secret Theatre                             Gramophone Award in 1988 (Etcetera)



NMC D053

Edward Elgar / A Payne: Symphony No. 3

Classic CD Award 1998

NMC D112

Britten on Film

MIDEM Classical Award 2008

NMC D121

NMC DL2012

NMC D190

NMC D197

Julian Anderson: Book of Hours

New Music 20x12

Britten to America

Gerald Barry: The Importance of Being Earnest

Pizzicato ‘Supersonic Award’ 2007

RPS Award - Concert Series & Festival

Grammy Nomination 2014 - Best Classical Compendium

Grammy Nomination 2015 - Contemporary Classical