"In the 30 years since its founding NMC has become a national treasure, introducing listeners all over the world to new music by composers from the British Isles. NMC’s ambitious vision and dedication is unwavering and this is reflected in the quality of what they continue to achieve. I’m thrilled that future plans will see this charity continue to enrich people’s lives through the joy of recordings. And by using digital technology and working with young people it will encourage more and more of us to embark on journeys of musical discovery. NMC is an indispensable part of our history and our future: long may it flourish!"
Sir Simon Rattle (NMC Patron)
In 2019 we celebrated our 30th anniversary. In the last three decades we built a catalogue that we are immensely proud of, featuring over 250 albums and 350 composers from the British Isles. 2019 saw us continue our work championing composers at all stages of their careers; inspiring new generations of listeners, artists and composers.
Some highlights: Young composers Freya Waley-Cohen, Austin Leung and Eugene Birman appeared in our Philharmonia Orchestra's Composers' Academy release, and our acclaimed Debut Discs series introduced the work of Edmund Finnis, Joanna Bailie and David Fennessy. Leading British groups featured on albums by the Nash Ensemble (Julian Anderson), Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (David Sawer), BBC Symphony Orchestra (Sam Hayden) and the last recording made by The Hilliard Ensemble (John Casken), plus two significant releases celebrating the work of established composers Bernard Rands, and Erika Fox who had her first commercial release at the age of 82. NMC continued to develop new learning projects and resources for children, including Many Voices: a music book and CD of ten violin pieces (Grades 2-6) commissioned by London Music Masters, and creative music-making workshops in partnership with Music Hubs in London, to mark our landmark album release by Chineke! Orchestra of works by Daniel Kidane, Hannah Kendall, Errollyn Wallen, James Wilson, Philip Herbert and Julian Joseph.
As a special product for our 30th we produced a mixtape on a C60 cassette. Thirty years ago it was the medium by which most music was played, and was our tentative way of starting what was then an ambitious venture of recording as much new British music as we could. So it seems appropriate to celebrate our anniversary by releasing a cassette ('NMC' originally stood for 'New Music Cassettes') if only as a promotional souvenir. The mixtape is also available in download and streaming formats.
We invited experimental producer/DJ Beatrice Dillon to delve into our back catalogue and the result is this 50-minute blended mix, including works by composers ranging from Judith Weir to Kate Whitley, Benjamin Britten to Huw Watkins – a brief audio snapshot of NMC’s rich archive of contemporary classical music from the British Isles.
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