In 2019 we celebrate our 30th anniversary. In the last three decades we have built a catalogue that we are immensely proud of, featuring over 250 albums and 350 composers from the British Isles. 2019 sees 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 appear in our Philharmonia Orchestra's Composers' Academy release, and our acclaimed Debut Discs series will introduce the work of Edmund Finnis, Joanna Bailie and David Fennessy. Leading British groups will feature 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 signifi cant releases celebrating the work of established composers Bernard Rands, and Erika Fox who has her first commercial release at the age of 82. NMC continues 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 have 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.
NMC will continue to promote and distribute releases by partner labels from Huddersfield University (HCR), City University London (Multi.Modal), Royal Birmingham Conservatoire (BRC), and Club Inégales. We will also be the digital partner of PRS Foundation's New Music Biennial.
"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)
Looking to the future
Our anniversary gives us the opportunity to acknowledge the impact our charity has had on the sector over the last 30 years, and as we look to the future, we pledge to continue to support new music and build a catalogue that celebrates and fully reflects talent across modern Britain.
Inclusivity Anniversary Target We pledge to take steps to ensure our future recording programme is more representative across gender and race. Recent analysis highlighted that 90% of proposals we were receiving were from men, so we have taken steps to redress the balance by promoting our opportunities more broadly, and have set a target that at least 50% of new releases from 2020 will feature composers who identify as women. Alongside this we have made a commitment to double the number of BAME composers in the catalogue (currently 19) by 2022.
In 2017, we launched a series of education resources to assist the development of emerging talent and to inspire an interest in, and appreciation of, new music in younger audiences. These resources include: r:strng, our free app featuring Kate Whitley's music and allowing students from KS3 & KS4 to create their own remixes; GCSE Dance, a free teaching resource developed in partnership with Rambert Dance Company and including guidance notes for teachers as well as a free download album; the NMC Music Map, our free interactive tool to explore, see, and hear the connections between composers; and GCSE Composition, which takes works from the NMC catalogue as a starting point for practical lessons and student exercises in Rhinegold Education's innovative Online Music Classroom.
In 2019, we're delighted to continue our education work with partnerships with London Music Masters, Music Hubs, and Chineke! Foundation. nmcrec.co.uk/education
Every year we raise almost £40,000 from our generous individual donors, which represents 14% of our income. We’re setting ourselves an ambitious anniversary target by aiming to increase this amount to £50,000 during 2019. Our 30th Appeal will begin in February and donations can be made at: nmcrec.co.uk/nmc30