PRS for Music Foundation announces 20 winning commissions

PRS for Music Foundation today announces the twenty commissions selected for the New Music Biennial 2017, a PRS for Music Foundation initiative which is presented in partnership with Hull UK City of Culture 2017, London’s Southbank Centre and BBC Radio 3.

The winning commissions present a snapshot of contemporary music in the UK including ten brand new works and ten pre-existing works that have been composed within the last 15 years.

The New Music Biennial includes new music from across all genres: from classical and chamber opera to jazz, folk, electronic and music for brass band and organ. Works will be no longer than 15 minutes in duration in response to the New Music Biennial’s aim to create a pop-up, interactive way for audiences to discover new music and be able to hear the pieces more than once.

Many of the winning new commissions such as Errollyn Wallen’s Mighty River orchestral work that draws inspiration from the work of William Wilberforce in Hull and GoGo Penguin’s Abstractions of the Industrial North resonate with one of the themes of Hull UK City of Culture (Made in Hull, Roots and Routes, Freedom, Tell the World). Several of the commissioning partners including Freedom Festival, Jnight and Opera North are based in Hull or the surrounding region. Yorkshire born composers such as Daniel Elms, Gavin Bryars and Eliza Carthy, who has strong family links to the city, are working on new pieces which explore the identity of the city and surrounding landscape and Mercury Prize-nominated folk singer and song collector Sam Lee exploring vernacular folk song in Hull City.

Other commissions featured in the New Music Biennial simply reflect the exceptional talent and breadth of composers in the UK. This includes composer Simon Holt’s new clarinet concerto for 2006’s BBC Young Musician of the Year Mark Simpson commissioned by BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Emily Hall’s new Opera for children and Tom Jenkinson’s (Squarepusher) The Secret Life of Organs showcasing the potential for these incredible instruments beyond traditional organ music. (See full list below)

The winning compositions were selected by a panel of judges that included Vanessa Reed (Executive Director, PRS for Music Foundation), Judith Weir (Master of the Queen’s Music), Sara Mohr-Pietsch (BBC Radio 3 Hear and Now presenter) Sam Hunt (Executive Producer, Hull UK City of Culture), Gillian Moore MBE (Director of Music, Southbank Centre), Kevin Le Gendre (Broadcaster and journalist) and chaired by BBC Radio 3 Controller, Alan Davey.

The commissions will receive public performances throughout the UK in 2017, culminating in two celebration weekends in Hull on 1 & 2 July as part of Hull UK City of Culture 2017 and 7- 9 July at London’s Southbank Centre.

Martin Green, CEO and Director of Hull UK City of Culture 2017, said: “The New Music Biennial 2017 commissions which feature composers and performers from across the country
are a brilliant representation of the state of new music in the UK in the 21st century. They stretch across genres, across diverse musical styles, and include everything from electronic innovators to jazz groups to stars of the folk scene. I am thrilled that this national music festival is to be staged between Hull 2017, and London’s Southbank Centre as part of our year as UK city of culture.
Vanessa Reed Executive Director PRS for Music Foundation, said: “The line-up of new pieces for this New Music Biennial showcases again the immense quality and breadth of music composed in the UK and the imagination of UK composers working across an array of different styles. Hull’s City of Culture status has been a real inspiration to everyone involved and I’m delighted that this will be an opportunity for music creators and arts organisations from Yorkshire and from across the whole of the UK to come together in a celebration of new music in all its forms. Can’t wait to see how the pieces and ideas develop over the next 12 months.”

Gillian Moore MBE, Director of Music, Southbank Centre, said: “Today’s announcement recognises what a wealth of talent we have to celebrate in the UK’s contemporary composition scene, and the importance of giving new music this platform. I’m incredibly excited that such a strong, diverse list of winners has been chosen this year and look forward to welcoming them to Southbank Centre. We’re very proud to be part of the New Music Biennial 2017, whose commitment to quality, innovation, and accessibility mirrors that of our own, and look forward to inspiring audiences old and new with the best music being written today.”

Alan Davey, Controller BBC Radio 3, said: “Encouraging new talent and music making is at the heart of the BBC Music. It is an important part of BBC Radio 3’s mission and purpose and we’d like to congratulate the composers and look forward to sharing their works with our millions of listeners.”

New Music Biennial 2017 is supported by Arts Council England, Creative Scotland, NMC Recordings, The John S Cohen Foundation, The Finzi Trust, Jerwood Charitable Foundation, RVW Trust and The Bliss Trust.

New Music Biennial 2017 commissions

New commissions:

Sam Lee – Hullucination
Commissioned by The Nest Collective
The Mercury Prize nominated Sam Lee and driving force behind the eclectic, award-winning folk club The Nest Collective will explore the rich history of vernacular folk song in Hull City and District using a collection of songs from in and around the city. Through recorded testimonials that capture the current and historical oral traditions extant amongst the residents, Sam Lee creates a sonic triptych combining choral and arranged accompaniment to portrait the city and its ever changing character.
Emily Hall – Witchsong

Commissioned by Mahogany Opera Group
Written by composer Emily Hall and author Toby Litt, Witchsong is a visual and atmospheric event for children aged 8-11 and forms part of the nationwide project ‘Snappy Operas’ of 10 new mini-operas from British artists created with and performed by children. The piece invites each child and audience member to explore the ambiguous nature of witches using chants, melodies and language from the playground and instrumental accompaniment made from everyday school equipment including recorder drones, chalk and skipping ropes. Hall works regularly with singers and writers and finds her own ways of using technology and live performance in her works.
Daniel Elms – Bethia
Commissioned by British Film Institute
Influenced by the natural landscape surrounding his Yorkshire Hometown, Daniel Elms’ piece for acoustic and electronic instruments celebrates the maritime history of Hull using re-imagined sea shanties and maritime hymns. It will be performed alongside projected film footage that has been edited and adapted to create abstract ambience and light. Written for a small group of chamber musicians the music will interweave cross-rhythms and interlocking harmony to create a texture similar to that of a tremulous sea.

Peter Edwards – A Journey with the Giants of Jazz
Commissioned by Turner Sims, Southampton
Pianist, composer and bandleader and nominee for the 2015 Jazz FM Breakthrough Artist Awards, Peter Edwards, looks into the year 1917, which was a defining year for jazz. It saw the births of some of the most influential jazz artists including composer ‘Tadd’ Dameron, singer Ella Fitzgerald, trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, pianist Thelonious Monk, drummer Buddy Rich and percussionist Mongo Santamaria. Taking inspiration from the motifs found in six of the artists’ classic works, Peter Edwards’ piece, to be performed by the Nu Civilisation Orchestra (a Tomorrow’s Warriors ensemble), deconstructs their themes to offer the audience a re-imagined and alternative musical experience.

Ray Lee – Ring Out
Commissioned by Oxford Contemporary Music
Sound artist and composer Ray Lee, renowned for creating music for public places, will create an outdoor musical and visual spectacle composed for electronically generated bell sounds, each swinging from a giant metal tower. The composition builds a series of tonal pitches into a constantly evolving texture of pulsed tones created by the swinging of the bell-speakers by a team of local bell-ringers. The audience are able to walk around the space and experience the series of micro-melodies shifting and changing as the piece progresses.

Simon Holt – Concerto for clarinet & Orchestra
Commissioned by BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
Simon Holt is one of the UK’s leading composers and is currently Professor of Composition at the Royal College of Music. He will write a basset clarinet concerto for 2006’s BBC Young Musician of the Year Mark Simpson, inspired from a black and white print by the English artist, Cecil Collins, of a rampant bull-like creature with fearsome horns.

Mica Levi – New work for the BBC Concert Orchestra
Commissioned by BBC Concert Orchestra
Mica Levi is a classically trained singer, songwriter, BAFTA nominated composer and producer who is best known for her band Micachu & The Shapes. Mica will write an exciting piece with the BBC Concert Orchestra drawing on and utilising the Orchestra’s huge sound and great power.

Gavin Bryars – Holderness or Spurn Head
Commissioned by Opera North
Born in Yorkshire Gavin Bryars has been described as a composer ‘who falls under no category’ and since 2006 he has been collaborating with Opera North on numerous projects. For this commission Bryars will use the inspiration of the Holderness/Spurn Head landscape, and at the same time the life and poetry of Andrew Marvell (1621-1678), the metaphysical poet who was born and raised in the Holderness region. When a young man of just 19, Marvell may have witnessed his father drowning as he tried to cross the Humber. The new commission will take two iterations; one a sound installation in the church at Winestead where Marvell’s father was the rector; and the second a live performance by an ensemble of musicians and possibly one singer.

Eliza Carthy in collaboration with the Moulettes – Rivers and Railways
Commissioned by Freedom Festival
Eliza Carthy is a traditional folk musician and composer who was championed from an early age by John Peel, Andy Kershaw and Billy Bragg and is the winner of five BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and currently Associate Artist at Sage Gateshead. Eliza’s new piece, Rivers and Railways is a collaboration with celebrated sonic adventurers Moulettes, exploring the theme of what makes a
city what it is when it is perched on the edge of a place, a port, a destination, an identity. Touching upon themes of migration, Hull’s industries and history (Hull was the second most bombed city in the Second World War) and its pioneering son William Wilberforce who was instrumental in writing the Abolition of Slavery Act. Using local stories and music to create the new work, and through creative staging, using outdoor location and engagement with the ‘Freedom Choir’, will make something very special and unique and with a strong Hull flavour that will be unmistakeable and moving.

GoGo Penguin – Abstractions of the Industrial North
Commissioned by Jnight Jazz Promoters
Renowned for the minimalist piano themes, deeply propulsive bass lines and electronica-inspired drums, the Mercury Prize nominated Manchester based jazz trio GoGo Penguin will create a piece of music inspired by the Northern industrial landscape in 2017 for the documentary film Mind On The Run. The film will be created by producers from Nova Studios, the University of Hull and Hull 2017 and will be about Basil Kirchin, who died in Hull in 2005. Basil Kirchin is the forgotten genius of post-war British music. British pioneer of musique concrete, leading light in the free jazz movement, a film composer who inspired Bernard Hermann and according to Brian Eno, the founding father of ambient.

Existing works:

Jason Singh & Anne Martin (UK) with Sharat Chandra Srivastava, Gyan Singh (India) – Ceumannan – Footsteps. 2.
Commissioned by Atlas Arts
Performed by Anne Martin, Jason Singh, Sharat Chandra Srivastava, Gyan Singh and Joe Harrison
A synthesis of traditional Gaelic song and North Indian Raga, this piece interweaves contemporary rhythms and acoustic sounds with the struggles of culture and identity pertinent to both of the artists’ roots. The work is a continuation of Ceumannan – Footsteps which explores the struggle for land use experienced by both the Highlanders of Scotland and communities of Northern Indea, and emphasises the commonality and creativity of human experience.

Brian Irvine & Jennifer Walshe – 13 VICES
Commissioned by Moving on Music
Performed by Brian Irvine, Jennifer Walshe & Red Note Ensemble
A collaboration between two of the UK and Ireland’s most dynamic compositional voices, Brian Irvine and Jennifer Washle, this piece explores the weird, humorous, dark and exotic world of contemporary vices. Written for ensemble, improvisers, conductor and voice it melts the boundaries between various disciplines including theatre, opera, poetry and contemporary music.

Errollyn Wallen – Mighty River
Commissioned by Oxford Contemporary Music
Exploring themes of slavery and freedom, Mighty River combines contemporary classical techniques with spirituals which were introduced to Hull in 1871 by the Fisk Jubilee Singers – an African-American a cappella choir of ex-slaves. The piece, written for orchestra, takes its inspiration from William Wilberforce the English politician, philanthropist and leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade who was, very fittingly, a native of Hull. Errollyn Wallen is at ease both as a singer-songwriter of pop-influenced songs and a composer of contemporary new music. She describes her own Ensemble X with the motto, ‘We don’t break down barriers in music…we don’t see any.’

Philip Venables & David Hoyle – Illusions
Commissioned by London Sinfonietta
Illusions is politically-engaged contemporary music exploring themes of government, LGBT rights and the rituals of music and art performance, featuring footage of avant-garde performance artist David Hoyle. The interplay between music and the cut-up video snippets of Hoyle searing and topical polemic is reflected in the erratic, boisterous and aggressive nature of
the composition. The piece is written for an ensemble of nine musicians and is an extended and further developed version of Philip Venables’ existing composition which was part of the London Sinfonietta’s Notes to the New Government in May 2015. Philip Venables’ music is often concerned with violence, politics and speech within concert music and opera. Performance artist David Hoyles’ often focuses on themes in the LGBT community attacking what he sees as dominant trends in ‘bourgeios Britain’.

Anna Meredith – Concerto for Beatboxer & orchestra
Commissioned by Southbank Centre
Anna Meredith is a composer, producer and performer of both acoustic and electronic music. Her sound is often described as ‘maximalist’, ‘uncategorisable’ and ‘genre-hopping’ and straddles the worlds of contemporary classical, avant pop, electronica and experimental rock. Southbank Centre commissioned Anna Meredith and internationally renowned Beatbox Artist Shlomo to write a new piece for Beatboxer and Orchestra in 2010. The Concerto is an acclaimed modern classical work recognising the human voice box as a musical instrument.

Hannah Peel – Tubular Brass featuring Mary Casio: Journey to Cassiopeia
Commissioned by Tubular Brass
Inspired by a brand new brass band score of Mike Oldfield’s multi-million selling classic ‘Tubular Bell’s’, Tubular Brass were keen to commission a further new piece combining 70’s analogue synths and brass. Drawing from her influences of electronic pioneers Daphne Oram and Delia Derbyshire, Hannah Peel tells the story of Mary Casio, now 86 years old, and her lifelong stargazing dream to leave her South Yorkshire home in the mining town of Barnsley. Mary Casio makes her journey into space via home-constructed, hand-made machines that ‘buzz and whirr’ alongside her ever-growing collection of antiquated analogue synths, of which she started collecting ever since her father gave her a Casio keyboard as a child . As her vehicle ‘stirs into life’, oscillating with home-made technology, she faces space alone without ever leaving her garden shed. This is her greatest journey – destination Cassiopeia!

Mark Simpson – 25th anniversary piece for the Gould Piano Trio
Commissioned by Gould Piano Trio (Welsh based)
At the age of 17 Mark Simpson became the first ever winner of both BBC Young Musician and BBC Proms/Guardian Young composer of the Year. In 2015 he was appointed Composer in Association of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. The new work by Mark will form the centrepiece of the Gould Piano Trio’s 25th anniversary celebration. Impressed by Mark’s high profile appointment as the BBC Philharmonic’s new Composer-in-Association, as well as critical acclaim following his latest premiere of a large scale oratorio at the Manchester International Festival.

Laurence Crane – Pieces About Art
Commissioned by EXAUDI
Composition Professor at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Laurence Crane was commissioned by EXAUDI vocal ensemble in 2014 to write a new work for them. Initially wanting to use the words that had been written by American artist Bruce Nauman, titled First Poem Piece, which Nauman had engraved on a metal sculpture exhibited in a show in the late 1960s, Laurence was denied permission to use the text. Immediately putting his disappointment to one side, Laurence made the decision to write a text based on this permission email while concealing Nauman’s name from the score. It is a piece is all about the composers struggle to get permission to set the text. There are sections of wordless music in this movement, perhaps suggesting that if permission had been granted then this is where Nauman’s words would be.

Tom Jenkinson – The Secret Life of Organs
Commissioned by No Nation and James McVinnie
Performed by James McVinnie
Tom Jenkinson, best known as Squarepusher, is a UK based recording artist whose compositions draw on a number of influences including drum & bass, acid house, jazz and electroacoustic music. Originally commissioned as part of a five date national tour, Tom Jenkinson’s The Secret Life of Organs aims to draw attention to the magnificent organs around the country, placing them in the hands of artists who will explore their potential beyond traditional organ music, and engaging new audiences with these remarkable but rarely used instruments. This remarkable piece represents a side to this exceptional artist which is rarely heard, and likely to come as a surprise and attraction to audiences. As well as ensuring the work is heard across the country being performed in collaboration with acclaimed organist James McVinnie.

Jocelyn Pook – Anxiety Fanfare and Variation for Voices
Commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation
First commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation for Anxiety Arts Festival London 2014 and premièred at the Wigmore Hall, London this work extends the multi-award winning composer Jocelyn Pook’s interest in the experience of mental illness, which she explored in her ground-breaking 2012 work Hearing Voices. The Fanfare is written in five movements and draws on the unique potential of professional and nonprofessional singers. The fanfare will be rehearsed and performed with a community choir composed of mental health service users and professionals.

For more information about the New Music Biennial visit

KWL Announced as Principal Corporate Partner

Kevin Redmore, business leader for KWL, said: “Hull 2017 will be the greatest event the city has ever seen and will certainly put Hull in the spotlight. As an organisation, we have a close relationship with local residents, so we are delighted to be able to give something back.

“We’re extremely passionate about Hull and have a policy of employing local people and using local suppliers wherever possible. We’re also committed to helping Hull’s young workforce, having recently taken on our 100th apprentice. “KWL is now in the 10th year of trading and the business has grown so that nearly 20% of our turnover is now outside of our original core business of housing repair and maintenance. After a joint approach from our shareholder Hull City Council and the City of Culture team, it seemed a good fit to use this diversification and growth in the business to help support Hull 2017.

“KWL is very much looking forward to working with the Hull 2017 team on a programme of outreach in the community and investing in what we believe is a very bright future for our city. With over one million extra visitors expected to descend on Hull in 2017, it’s our time to shine.”

The announcement of KWL as principal corporate partner is another huge success for the culture company, which recently revealed corporate partnerships with Yorkshire Water and BP.

Martin Green, Chief Executive of Hull 2017, said: “I am delighted to welcome KWL on board as a principal corporate partner. As a large local employer with a demonstrable commitment to creating jobs and opportunities for young people, KWL is a natural fit for Hull 2017. “This partnership will help us to transform Hull: by raising aspirations; changing perceptions; creating jobs; and bringing a projected £60m to the local economy. I have no doubt that our partnership will benefit future generations and communities for years to come.”

Daren Hale, Chairman of the KWL Board, said: “The positive impact of UK City of Culture on Hull is already evident in and around the city. Investment and regeneration is already happening now. This partnership is a wonderful opportunity for KWL to work with the culture company on one of the country’s most exciting events and to continue to make a difference in Hull, now, in 2017 and beyond.”

KWL’s collaboration with Hull UK City of Culture 2017 will help to provide a menu of activity for local schools and the community. It will also see KWL providing their expertise to the City of Culture team on specific projects.

Programme Fund Launched

We’ll be looking for ideas large and small, ADVENTUROUS and unique that CONNECT COMMUNITIES and create great art and culture.  This is your opportunity to be part of the story.

We want the process to be as simple as possible and we will run a series of events and workshops to make sure that everyone who wants to, can have the information and support they need in order to apply.

The fund will open in early 2016, but you can express your interest now by completing our short online form. We’ll be in with those who do very soon with further details.

BBC Announced as Principal Partner

We were thrilled to be joined by BBC Director General, Lord Tony Hall at Friday’s Hull 2017 update where he announced a new partnership with Hull UK City of Culture 2017.  This new partnership will add to the success of Hull 2017 and allow everyone around the UK to engage with this national cultural festival, and encourage them to look again at Hull.

Martin Green, Chief Executive of Hull 2017, said: “Our partnership with the BBC is absolutely critical to the success of Hull 2017. Within the UK, it means that people across the entire country will be engaged with their national cultural festival, encouraging them to look again at Hull and at what they think of as culture.  

“Internationally, the BBC is one of the most powerful tools we have to create a global interaction with our stories. Hull 2017 will be a 365-day festival of the most compelling and ambitious cultural experiences that the UK has to offer and, with the BBC on board, we will be able to share those experiences with the whole world.”

Lord Hall said: “I’m proud to announce our partnership today. The BBC is going to be unashamedly ‘Hull-centric’ in 2017. We are really looking forward to working with Hull 2017 to create something very special for the city and for audiences around the world.

“I want the BBC in Hull to be a powerhouse of creativity. I want us to work with Hull City of Culture 2017 to try new things, to push boundaries and take risks. We want to experiment, innovate and help talent in Hull find their voice.

“I recently set out our case for an open, enabling BBC that supports creativity in all kinds of ways. I want the BBC to be at the heart of Hull’s big year because I recognise that by working closely together as equal partners we can achieve so much more.”

The BBC’s activities for Hull 2017 will include:

  • A celebration of poetry, performance and the spoken word – shaped and made in Hull and inspired by the city’s rich poetry heritage, which includes the likes of Andrew Marvel and Philip Larkin.
  • BBC Learning will be working with schools and organisations across the city to deliver targeted projects to inspire and create educational opportunities for the city’s young people.
  • BBC Writers Room will be looking for writers – new and established – to develop stories inspired by Hull.
  • Some of the BBC’s biggest events will come to the city during 2017 and the BBC will create new ones.

The first major event as a result of this partnership is CBBC Live and Digital taking place in Hull this coming weekend. Some of the channel’s biggest stars and programmes will arrive in the city and on Saturday 31 October and Sunday 1 November visitors will be able to explore everything that’s new in digital creativity for 6-12 year olds. It will take place in and around City Hall and Queen Victoria Square.

CBBC Newsround and CBBC Presentation will also be broadcast live from the event.

Stay tuned for further announcements and opportunities as result of this very exciting partnership.

BP announced as Major Corporate Partner

The company has over 40 years of experience supporting arts and culture in the UK and we’re excited to have them on board.

This partnership will help us to deliver a programme of great art and culture that will inspire and engage people locally, nationally and internationally. Just as important, it will help us to secure a lasting legacy for Hull 2017 that will benefit local residents and communities for generations to come.

Call for proposals for New Music Biennial 2017

It is a PRS for Music Foundation initiative which is presented in partnership with Hull UK City of Culture 2017, London’s Southbank Centre and BBC Radio 3.

New Music Biennial 2017 will comprise 20 new pieces of music: ten brand new works and ten pre-existing works that have been composed within the last 15 years. The New Music Biennial includes new music from across all genres: from classical and chamber opera to jazz, folk and electronic. Works should be no longer than 15 minutes in duration in response to the New Music Biennial’s aim to create a pop-up, interactive way for audiences to discover new music.The deadline for applications is 12 November 2015 and the final programme will be announced in December 2015.

The winning compositions will be selected by a prestigious and diverse panel of judges including Vanessa Reed (Executive Director, PRS for Music Foundation), Judith Weir (Master of the Queens Music), Sam Hunt (Executive Producer, Hull UK City of Culture), Gillian Moore MBE (Director of Music, Southbank Centre) and chaired by BBC Radio 3 Controller, Alan Davey.

Throughout 2016 the new pieces will be composed and rehearsed and all twenty commissions will receive public performances throughout the UK in 2017, culminating in two celebration weekends in Hull on 1 & 2 July as part of Hull UK City of Culture 2017 and 7- 9 July at London’s Southbank Centre.

The premieres will form part of Hull UK City of Culture 2017 which has four central themes: Made in Hull, welcoming the world to the city; Roots and Routes, celebrating Hull’s connections; Freedom, exploring the city’s role in ending global injustice; and Tell the World, exploring what is next for this unique place.

The New Music Biennial will be broadcast across BBC Radio 3 in addition to being performed across the UK and as part of the two celebration weekends in Hull and at London’s Southbank Centre and hopes to reach over 500,000 people.

New Music Biennial 2017 is supported by Arts Council England, Creative Scotland and The John S Cohen Foundation.

Vanessa Reed, Executive Director PRS for Music Foundation said, “We’re very excited to be launching today the call for proposals for the New Music Biennial 2017 and to be part of the official programme for Hull UK City of Culture in just over a year’s time. I’m sure we will receive an array of high quality and imaginative proposals from across the UK and I’m glad that this time round we’ll be programming existing repertoire that deserves to be heard again alongside brand new commissions.”

Martin Green, Chief Executive and Director of Hull, UK City of Culture 2017 added: “Hull will showcase the very best of the UK’s arts and culture in 2017 and the aims of the New Music Biennial chime perfectly with our own commitment to supporting artists who are creating exciting new work of the highest quality. We are delighted to be able to present the Biennial’s new commissions as part of our 2017 programme.”

Gillian Moore, Director of Music, Southbank Centre said: “The New Music Biennial is such an important platform and we’re thrilled to celebrate once again the talent and diversity of composers working in the UK today. Southbank Centre is committed to presenting new music in ever-more innovative and engaging ways, and through these performances and supporting programme of workshops, talks and debates, we look forward to inspiring many people with the sheer excitement of music-making.”

Paul Frankl, Editor, BBC Radio 3 said: “With its emphasis on performance, innovation, creativity and supporting new talent, New Music Biennial is exactly the sort of bold and distinctive programming central to BBC Radio 3 and our audiences. We’re proud to be involved once again and look forward to bringing our listeners more cutting edge contemporary music in partnership with PRS for Music Foundation.”

For more information about the New Music Biennial visit

For further press information please contact: Rebecca Driver (Media Relations) at  or call 020 7247 1894.

Like Our New Look?

Take a look at our behind-the-scenes film to see what we got up to. This is just the beginning…

Ferens Curator part of ARTIST ROOMS team

Following Wednesday’s announcement from Arts Council England of over £2million for its Strategic Touring Programme, Ferens Art Gallery is delighted to be leading the ARTIST ROOMS 2016-19 tour.

Having successfully hosted three consecutive years of ARTIST ROOMS in the past, the Ferens will now be involved in a new mentoring programme that aims to help develop arts professionals and build relationships between the venues, to create a strong touring art network.

Exhibitions and Events Officer at the Ferens, Claire Longrigg, will be involved in this programme as part of a national curatorial team that will advise and support staff from galleries across the country with the 2016-19 programme.

Exhibitions and Events Officer at Ferens, Claire Longrigg said: “I am delighted to be part of this team and am looking forward to working closely with our colleagues from galleries up and down the country that will be hosting ARTIST ROOMS exhibitions.

“The Ferens Art Gallery has been worked hard to host three ARTIST ROOMS exhibitions Woodman, 2011, Warhol, 2012, and Creed, 2013. All three exhibitions benefitted greatly from having the support of the Gallery’s youth group the Future Ferens (young volunteers age 18-25) who assisted with the curatorial, marketing and learning aspects of the exhibitions.

“I look forward to sharing our experiences with colleagues nationally.”

Portfolio Holder for Culture and Leisure, Councillor Terry Geraghty said: “This is another good example of how we are building relationships and developing our partnership working, ultimately to improve the cultural offer for the people of Hull. The recognition here is a real credit to all involved.”

ARTIST ROOMS is an inspirational collection of modern and contemporary art acquired for the nation by Tate and the National Galleries of Scotland with the 2016-19 programme comprising 1,600 works by 39 artists including Joseph Beuys, Agnes Martin, Damien Hirst and Louise Bourgeois.

The tour is made possible thanks to the new support of Arts Council England and the continued support of the Art Fund.

Hull Theatre Company takes the stage in London

With the help of the UK City of Culture 2017 team and Hull City Council’s Arts Development unit, the cast of local theatre company ‘Silent Uproar’ will perform Pig – their latest production – at the New Diorama Theatre London between Tuesday 15 – Saturday 19 September.

Written by playwright Alex Oates, Pig is a response to anonymous interviews with both serving police officers and those coming into contact with the force. A dark comedy with live music, it looks at how the world either side of the thin blue line isn’t simply black and white, but many shades of grey.

Alex Mitchell, Artistic Director at Silent Uproar, said: “This is an amazing opportunity for us The New Diorama is a theatre whose programme always contains work from some of the country’s most exciting companies so it is an amazing compliment to be asked to open their next season of work.

“It has also been fantastic working with both Hull City Council and Hull City of Culture 2017 as our work is made for and in Hull. It’s very humbling that the city and its representatives are helping us to make a big fuss down south in the big smoke. This will allow us to help wave the Hull flag in the capital whilst building new audiences who wouldn’t have previous access to our work.”

Martin Green, Chief Executive of Hull, UK City of Culture 2017, said: “A key part of our work as we build towards 2017 is to support the development of Hull artists and help them take their work to a wider audience. There is wealth of talented young theatre-makers in the city and providing opportunities for them to stage work in London is just one way that we can do that.

“This is a great opportunity for them.”

Hull City Council’s Arts Development team have supported Silent Uproar since the company’s inception, helping them to become an established theatre company and bring their identity and vision to life.

Councillor Terry Geraghty, Portfolio Holder for Culture and Leisure, said:  “Hull has a rich history of nurturing local talent. The Council is committed to supporting the development of arts and culture in the city and finding new ways of showcasing it to a much wider local, national and international audience. This is particularly important as we prepare to show the world what Hull has to offer 2017 and I wish Silent Uproar every success with their London shows.”

Hull City Council’s Arts Development Officer, Louise Yates, added:  “Silent Uproar are an exciting young theatre company and we have supported the company since their first performance in the upstairs of a pub on Beverley Road. Since then they have come a long way but have never lost that intimacy with their audience. Performing in London is a fantastic opportunity that will help take them to the next level.”

East Riding Of Yorkshire Council signs up to £1 million partnership

The council’s partnership with the Hull 2017 company will deliver a £1m package of funding and support to help stage and enhance the UK City of Culture celebrations, alongside opportunities for local residents and cultural venues to play their part in a year of transformative arts and culture that will resonate across the north of England, the UK and beyond.

The partnership recognises the huge impact that UK City of Culture status will have across Hull and the East Riding, particularly as a driver for tourism. In 2017 alone, the UK City of Culture initiative is set to inject an additional £60 million into the local economy, attracting over one million additional visitors.

Councillor Stephen Parnaby OBE, Leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “East Riding of Yorkshire Council is delighted to be supporting Hull, UK City of Culture 2017 as a principal partner and believes that the investment made by this authority will provide numerous benefits for East Riding residents and local communities in being able to fully engage with the celebrations planned for the year.

“Hull, UK City of Culture 2017 will provide a national and global platform to showcase the cultural offer of our areas as well as the opportunity to promote the city and wider East Riding as a must-see tourist destination, a sector vital to both economies and one which both councils are keen to grow.”

Martin Green, Chief Executive of the Hull 2017 company, said: “With 500 days to go until the start of 2017, I’m delighted to welcome East Riding of Yorkshire Council on board as a principal partner.

“UK City of Culture will have a positive impact on the whole region and, as Hull’s closest neighbours, East Riding of Yorkshire Council and its residents have a key role to play.

“We are of course looking forward to welcoming everyone to a spectacular year of events in Hull that we hope will excite, inspire and encourage more people to see, experience and participate in arts and culture.

“Alongside this, there will be opportunities for people in Hull and the East Riding to get involved in our volunteering and education programmes and, with the national and international spotlight on Hull, the opportunity to shine a light on the talent and cultural offer of the whole area.”

Councillor Stephen Brady, Leader of Hull City Council, said: “On behalf the host city, I am absolutely delighted that East Riding of Yorkshire Council has signed up to support Hull 2017.

“UK City of Culture status means a great deal to the people of Hull and, as part of our City Plan, to the future economic prosperity of both the city and the surrounding area.

“As local councils, we have an opportunity to maximise and harness the benefits that UK City of Culture will bring to all of our communities. The partnership between Hull 2017 and East Riding of Yorkshire Council is an important step forward in ensuring that happens. It also builds on the partnership work we are already doing through Visit Hull and East Yorkshire (VHEY) to promote the area as a leading tourist destination.

“Working together, we will ensure that everything is in place to give all of our visitors a great welcome in 2017.”

“Residents and arts organisations across Hull and East Riding should sign up to the Hull 2017 newsletter or follow us Twitter  for all the latest information about how to get involved.”