The brass band world will be sending its congratulations to composer John Pickard after the CD release of his works featuring the acclaimed Nash Ensemble conducted by Martyn Brabbins and soloist Susan Bickley has won the Contemporary Category of the prestigious 2021 Gramophone Classical Music Awards.
The hugely respected composer has written a number of major works for the brass band medium — including 'Wildfire' written in 1991, through to 'Eden' which was used at the 2005 National Finals at the Royal Albert Hall and more latterly 'Rain, Steam and Speed' which was given its world premiere at the RNCM Brass Band Festival in 2018.
The Gardener of Aleppo
'The Gardener of Aleppo and other chamber works' on the BIS label covered a span of 30 years and seven compositions of the composer's career, and was described by critic Guy Richards as being "terrifically played, imaginatively programmed"to form "a trajectory from darkness"with the Nash Ensemble "on top form"and the BIS sound "stunning".
The recording was short-listed against releases of music by the likes of Louis Andriessen, Michael Finnissy, Liza Lim and Christopher Rouse.
I'm absolutely delighted that the BIS recording of seven of my works, played by the Nash Ensemble has won the Contemporary category of this year's Gramophone Classical AwardsJohn Pickard
In response to the news on his Facebook page John said: "I'm absolutely delighted that the BIS recording of seven of my works, played by the Nash Ensemble has won the Contemporary category of this year's Gramophone Classical Awards. Thank you to everyone who worked so hard on this recording!"
Each of the category winners can be enjoyed on an exclusive playlist on Apple Music.