Jonathan Dove's community opera The Monster in the Maze has won a British Composer Award in the Amateur or Youth Performers category. The award from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) was presented at a ceremony at the BFI in London last night.
The Monster in the Maze was jointly commissioned by the LSO, Festival d'Aix-en-Provence and the Berliner Philharmoniker, and was premiered across Europe in June and July 2015. The idea for the co-commission was led by conductor Sir Simon Rattle and chorus director Simon Halsey, and was designed to celebrate the arts organisations' relationships with their communities.
For the opera, composer Jonathan Dove and his regular librettist Alasdair Middleton sought a universal topic which can be told by a large group of children, and which would not require elaborate scenery. They decided on the ancient Greek story which tells of the rescue from the Labyrinth, by Theseus, of young Athenians sent to Crete as a sacrifice to the Minotaur.
The piece is scored for three professional soloists and a professional actor, adult community chorus, youth chorus, children’s chorus, and an orchestra of professional players playing alongside young or pre-professional players. Around 700 local community participants were involved in the three countries.
In addition, the three commissioning partners used the opportunity to collaborate even further, with the aim of assisting in the development of participatory music more widely, encouraging new repertoire and developing the skills for artists to deliver high quality participatory work. An Artists Academy was created in which 15 young artists took part, and two conferences were held in London and Aix-en-Provence.
Documentary: The Making of The Monster in the Maze
Congratulations to our composer scheme alumni!
Last night's awards also brought success for four alumni of various LSO schemes for composers from the last decade. Congratulations to Oliver Leith (LSO Soundhub Member 2016), Leo Chadburn (Panufnik Composers Scheme 2012 and LSO Soundhub Associate 2016), Joe Cutler (Sound Adventures 2006) and Tansy Davies (Sound Adventures 2005).
You can listen to Leo Chadburn's Panufnik Scheme work Brown Leather Sofa on the LSO Live album The Panufnik Legacies II:
A full list of the British Composer Awards winners can be found on the BASCA website.