With choirs across the UK under significant threat due to the Covid crisis, we are delighted to be providing a new 2021 Arts Foundation Futures Award for Choral Composition! Experts in the field are currently sending in their nominations, with shortlisters announced in the Autumn and the award winners announced in January 2021. The winning Fellow will be awarded £10,000, with all nominees awarded a further £1000.
AF Fellow Gregory Batsleer won his award for Choral Conducting in 2015 and holds hope for the future of choral music with the right support.
Choral music is one of the UK’s oldest and most treasured art forms. Choirs in all shapes and sizes form a crucial part of our wonderful cultural life, and in recent years being a member of a choir has become popular once again. Sadly the Covid crisis and question marks around the dangers of singing has plunged this art form into a perilous position. Choral musicians throughout the UK are collectively concerned for what comes next.
However, there remains a hope that we will navigate our way safely through this together, and that on the other side there will be great opportunity. In this moment we have a chance to press the refresh button and look at new and innovative ways of presenting and showcasing the glory of choral music.
I am without doubt that it is the curation and composition of new works that will be at the center of this. It is my excited belief that we have an opportunity given to us to think outside the box and really create a musical voice for today – a voice that represents our current time, and one which can sit alongside some the most glorious works by composers of the last 500 years.