Scottish Awards for New Music 2021


Full details, requirements and eligability downloadable at:

Submission form at the bottom of page below the category summary.

Should you require the information or to submit your nomation in a different formet (e.g. spoken audio) please email

Nominations will close at 11pm on 13th May.


New Music is broadly defined as including (but is not limited to): Acoustic Ecology / Avant-garde music / Co-improvisation / Contemporary chamber music / Contemporary opera / Contemporary orchestral music / Contemporary vocal and choral music / Computer music / Electroacoustic music / Electronica Experimental music / Experimental world music / Experimental folk music / Free improvisation / Invented instruments / Microtonal music / Musique actuelle / Radio art / Sound art / Uncategorisable musical practices.

Nominee Eligibility
Individuals must have been born in Scotland, or have been ordinarily resident in Scotland for at least two years prior to 1st July 2021. Non-Scottish and non-Scottish based artists can have works nominated as part of the Award for Creative Programming.
Nominees may be any age.
Nominees do not have to be members of New Music Scotland.
Students are eligible if enrolled in a Scottish institution for at least two years prior to 1st September 2021. (Due to Covid restrictions and increased distance learning this has been updated).



Installation/Sound Art/Electroacoustic work
For a new work or installation written and/or first presented during 2020 that would not be possible as a live performance without electronic intervention. The work should be created to include recordings, manipulations, and a combination of digital techniques, recordings of live performers and/or found sounds, samples, and other Sound Art approaches.

While we understand that a lot of work in 2020 has been presented online we are specifically looking for works that  fall into the electroacoustic/sound art performance and installation tradition.


The Dorico Award for Small / Medium Scale Work, sponsored by Steinberg
A piece of new music, of any style or instrumentation, written and/or first performed in 2020 by 10 performers or fewer.


Large Scale New Work (11+ performers), sponsored by PRS for Music

A piece of new music, of any style or instrumentation, written and/or first performed in 2020 by 11 performers or more.


Award for the recording of New Music  
A recording of new music for commercial release in 2020 for CD/LP or digital download. This may include the recording of an existing work released within the calendar year.


The RCS Award for Community/Education project
Music-making, listening, appreciation, participation projects taking new music as their medium, and widening access to those in Scottish communities and/or education settings. This may take the form of a one-off event, or an ongoing project with or without specific outcome over the calendar year of 2020.


The SMIA Award for Creative Programming
An award to celebrate Creative Programming. This could be a one-off production/commission, a festival programme, a programme series, or an audience development initiative that took place during 2020, has been of an exceptional standard and demonstrates genuine imagination in its execution. This award celebrates innovation, imagination, and impact in programming.


The RCS Award for Making it Happen Award
Award for an emerging, innovative Scottish promoter, performer, ensemble, composer, artist, organisation or individual, who has not been professionally active for more than 5 years. This is intended to celebrate emerging talent within new music and may be a person involved in a single event, a series of events, or the development of an organisation.


The Good Spirits Co Award for Innovation in New Traditional music
Traditional Music plays an important role in Scotland’s musical scene.  This award, in partnership with Hands Up for Trad, celebrates the musicians who, during 2020, used elements of both traditional and new music (as defined at the start) in an original and experimental way.


Environmental Sustainability
This award is to encourage all new music professionals to consider their impact on the environment. We are looking for a variety of different kinds of projects or policies that put climate action at their heart during 2020. That could be anything from a project tackling environmental sustainability head on through to a simple change that an organisation has made such as committing to only supporting travel via public transport.


New Music for Media
An award that focuses on innovative, experimental approaches to music written for TV, film, radio, games, apps or other broadcast and computer-based media.


The ISM Award for New Music in Covid Times
This award acknowledges the role that music has played in providing moments of light relief and entertainment during the Covid-19 pandemic. It is open to any item created between 16th March 2020 and 28th February 2021 that used innovative new music in an essential way and put a smile on the face of the listener/viewer.


Mark McKergow Award for Innovation in Jazz

Jazz music plays an important role in Scotland’s musical scene.  This award, celebrates the musicians who, during 2020, used elements of both jazz and new music (as defined at the start) in an original and experimental way.


The 2021 confirmed panellists are:

Kate Ellis: Cellist & Artistic Director - Crash Ensemble
Saeunn Thorsteinsdóttir: Cellist member of Decoda
Lindsay Pell: BBC Scotland
James Clapperton: Composer/pianist
Alisson Kruusmaa: Composer
Vimbayi Kaziboni: conductor
Lenny Sayers: clarinetist/composer
Susanne Stanzeleit: violinist
Laura Jurd: trumpet/composer

Eve O'Donnell: Artistic Producer Composer Initiatives, National Sawdust



Nomination form below or at

Make sure you have hit submit once you complete the above form. It can shrink to the top of the screen when you get to the final page.



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