Published on 03/12/20


Denis & Katya wins an IVOR

Published on 03/12/20

We are delighted to announce that Denis & Katya, composed by Philip Venables, won the Stage Works category at the Ivors Composers Awards, broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 on 1st December 2020.

The Ivors Composer Awards recognise creative excellence in classical, jazz and sound arts.

Announcing the award, the judges’ citation conveys the significance of this work:

“This is an important and intriguing stage work, incredibly skilful in its musical craft and exquisitely heard electronics. An innovative account of a chilling story that brilliantly entwines the theatrics in the structure of the music. In our opinion, this piece is moving opera forward.”

Music Theatre Wales offers its congratulations to Philip Venables on his outstanding achievement, along with writer/director Ted Huffman and dramaturge Ksenia Ravvina.

Michael McCarthy, Artistic Director of Music Theatre Wales said:

“We are thrilled to see this important and truly original work recognised by the Ivors. As soon as Philip Venables and Ted Huffman proposed this work to us it was clear that it had to happen. We believed it would herald a new way forward for MTW and for opera, and the response it provoked from young and old was unlike that for any other piece we have performed.”

Denis & Katya was a co-commission and co-production by Music Theatre Wales, Opera Philadelphia and Opéra Orchestre National Montpellier and performed in the UK in association with the London Sinfonietta. The two stage performers were Emily Edmonds and Johnny Herford.

In the introduction to the programme, The Ivors Academy wrote:

“This continues to be an incredibly difficult year for music and the arts. At such a time it’s essential that we unite in our recognition of exceptional talent and the importance of commissioning, funding and playing new compositions. As a sector we’ve been hit hard by the pandemic, and as we hopefully emerge from the worst of the health crisis we will rebuild our industry by putting contemporary composers and music creators at the centre of our efforts.”

Alan Davey, Controller of Radio 3, added:

“Welcome to The Ivors Composer Awards on BBC Radio 3: a heavenly match, where we celebrate some of the most cutting-edge, innovative, trailblazing creations by contemporary composers, and provide our audiences with a chance to cherish and to be inspired by great new music, and to celebrate those who compose it.”