On 25th September we celebrated our 25th Anniversary at the new Rambert Dance Studios with a gathering of Patrons, leading composers, artists and supporters. The drink flowed, the canapes were particuarly tasty (especially the lavender and goats cheese blinis!), the speeches impassioned and the guests on fine form.
The event was hosted by NMC’s recently appointed Chair, Andrew Ward who said: "We are blessed in the UK in having an extraordinarily exciting, diverse and high quality new music landscape. For 25 years NMC has played a crucial and distinctive role in preserving and promoting the work of the composers and performers who populate this landscape. All of us involved in NMC are clear that the charity is a unique national asset, which will continue to be as important to the next quarter-of-a-century as it has been to the one we celebrate today."
It was a delight to see so many faces both old and new including Vladimir Jurowski, Dame Mitsuko Uchida, Thomas Adès (see photo), Gerald Barry and Judith Weir whilst every major publisher was represented. We were joined by numerous composers and performers from our 25th anniversary releases and Friends and supporters of NMC.
Interspersing speeches which reflected on the last 25 years and included announcements on projects to kick start the next 25, we enjoyed performances from composer/pianist Martin Butler (Rhumba Machine), Richard Watkins (Maxwell Davies' Sea Eagle for solo horn) and composer/accordionist Howard Skempton (Cakes & Ale followed by Happy Birthday).
Howard Skempton wishing NMC a Happy Birthday
The composers involved in our Higher Education project Next Wave all wanted their photo taken with Gerald Barry and were delighted to catch up on their recording session experiences with their fellow young composers as well as their mentors. We had three 'generations' of composers in attendance: Anthony Gilbert who taught Martin Butler who taught Barnaby Hollington.
Next Wave composers Barnaby Hollington, Ji Sun Yang and Weiwei Jin
Barry achieved celebrity status the following day when he took over NMC's twitter feed to mark the release of his Importance of Being Earnest, answering questions for nearly two hours in a highly amusing and engaging exchange which reached 186,000 twitter users. Browse our Storify and read Barry's tweets!
Gerald Barry, Colin Matthews and Michael Greenwald
All the guests left with an NMC goodie bag, which included this little fellow. To find out the origins of the NMC Blue Sheep visit our FAQ page.
If you'd like to win one of our party goodie bags, enter our competition here (offer ends 10 October). You can also read the NMC Story here, retracing 25 years of NMC (request a hard copy by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org). Find out more about our 25th Anniversary celebrations on our Anniversary page: NMC25Celebrate. You can also read about our plans for the future, including our exciting collaborative project with the Science Museum and Aurora Orchestra, in our press release (pdf at the bottom of page).
Thanks to Rambert Dance Company for use of the Marie Rambert Studio and to Neil Whittle, Contact Director at Sodexo for donating the drinks.
Photos: Jamie Campbell and Eleanor Wilson