ISCM In Previous Years

The International Society for Contemporary Music logo.
ISCM Logo.

The International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) is an important international network of members from around fifty countries, devoted to the promotion and presentation of contemporary music - the music of our time.

Every year, a different member country hosts the ISCM World Music Days festival, where a composer from each country has the opportunity to have their work performed at the event. Below, you can read and learn about the past events of previous years. Alternatively, you can visit the ISCM website for a complete list of past events since 1923.

Past Years' Festivals


Winners: Charlotte Bray and Michael Taplin

'At the Speed of Stillness' and 'Lambent Fires' are selected from the British shortlist for World Music Days 2017, Vancouver

Charlotte Bray

 An outstanding talent of her generation, the composer Charlotte Bray studied under Mark Anthony Turnage and Joe Cutler. Her associations include the London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra and Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and her work has featured at the BBC Proms, Aldeburgh, Tanglewood, Aix-en-Provence and Verbier. Sir Mark Elder, Jessica Cottis and Daniel Harding are among the renowned conductors who have performed her work.Collaborating with the BBC Symphony Orchestra on two occasions in 2016, Stone Dancer premiered at Aldeburgh Festival under Oliver Knussen; and her cello concerto Falling in the Fire under Sakari Oramo with Guy Johnston in the BBC Proms. Exploring the work of the late Tim Hetherington, a renowned photo journalist, the latter is motivated by the composer's endeavour to comprehend war and its impact in our world today.At the Speed of Stillness, Charlotte’s debut recording on NMC Records, was released in October 2014.


Michael Taplin

Born in 1991 and raised in London, Michael Taplin has been actively involved in writing music from an early age and studied privately with Dai Fujikura with a grant from the Talbot House Trust. In 2009, Michael accepted a place at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with a Scholarship where he studied with Paul Newland. Michael’s music has been performed by groups such as the Gemini Ensemble, The Composers Ensemble, the Namascae Lemanic Modern Ensemble, Ose! Orchestre Symphonique, the Philharmonia and the London Symphony Orchestra.  Michael recently completed his Masters of Composition with Distinction at the Royal College of Music in London with Jonathan Cole and Simon Holt. Michael is the recipient of the 2015 Royal Philharmonic Society’s Young Composer Prize.


Winner: Patrick Friel

'Once upon an alphabet' is selected from the British shortlist for World Music Days 2016, South Korea


Patrick Friel 's compositions – described as ‘arresting, mesmerising, expansive, ambitious, kaleidoscopic’ – have been performed by Lionel Handy, Richard Casey, and the Fidelio Trio, and his Endangered Species Band was featured in the 2014 Southport International Jazz Festival. In 2015 he has produced work for Royal College of Art, Česká televize, and FAMU, Prague, and composed new music for young musicians through UCL Institute of Education. Patrick is passionate about teaching composition and will take up a post at St Michael’s Catholic Grammar School, Finchley, in 2015-16.



Winner: Nina Whiteman

'The Galaxy in Rotation' is selected from the British shortlist for World Music Days 2015, Slovenia

Nine Whiteman Nina Whiteman is a composer and singer based in Manchester with a growing reputation as an engaging British compositional talent.

Her recent music has drawn primarily on scientific source materials, particularly Vera Rubin’s research in astronomy. During 2013-14 commissions included a new work for Psappha (The Galaxy Rotation Problem), and a collaboration with Ealing Youth Orchestra (Dark Matter Sounding).

These works act as sonic maps of humanly unreachable locations, where distant galaxies and imaginary particles are encountered by audiences.Previous commissions have come from ensembles such as Manchester Camerata, Quatuor Danel, and TOEAC. Nina’s work has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, commissioned by the Adopt-a-Composer scheme (PRS for Music Foundation/Sound and Music/Making Music), and featured at major venues and festivals including the Bridgewater Hall, Cheltenham Music Festival, Kettle’s Yard, Media City, and the RNCM.

Nina is co-director of Trio Atem, and frequently engages with experimental interdisciplinary projects as a composer-singer.

The Galaxy Rotation Problem 

Vera Rubin (b.1928) is an astronomer whose research led to theories of dark matter in the universe. Her discovery that objects at the outer limits of galaxies rotate much faster than the laws of physics predict was an important landmark in our understanding of space: unseen, non-luminous, dark matter of significant mass must exist.The Galaxy Rotation Problem is an impossible journey through some of the galaxies observed by Rubin: their properties are re-imagined sonically, guiding the listener through terra incognita light years apart.The Galaxy Rotation Problem was commissioned by Psappha and premiered at the New Music North West festival in Manchester on 2 November 2013.

To listen to The Galaxy Rotation Problem composition by Nina Whiteman, visit


Winners: Julian Anderson and Jobina Tinnemanns

'The Discovery of Heaven for orchestra' and 'Shakspeare and Hedgeshear' are selected from the British shortlist for World Music Days 2014, Poland


  1. Julian Anderson - The Discovery of Heaven for orchestra
  2. Jobina Tinnemanns - Shakespeare and Hedgeshear

For more information on the rest of the programme, please see here:

3rd October 2014 - ISCM Composer Exchange and Networking Programme 

Click here to watch a short film with the composers selected for the ISCM Composer Exchange and Networking Opportunity


11th March 2014 - Jobina Tinnemanns received British Council Travel Grant to attend World Music Days 2014

With the support from the British Council Travel Grant, in partnership with Sound and Music, Jobina Tinnemans will be able to attend the performance of her piece at World Music Days.

See more information here about the other composers awarded support to travel oversees performances of their work.


British Composers in ISCM World Music Days 2014

wroclow2014The British panel has selected the following works to submit to the International Jury for the World Music Days in Wroclaw 2014:

Julian Anderson - The Discovery of Heaven for orchestra

Colin Broom - Harbinger for orchestra

Felipe Otondo - Irama

Jonathan Pitkin - Con Spirito for piano and Yamaha Disklavier

Jo Thomas - Crystal Sounds of a Synchrotron

Jobina Tinnemanns - Shakespeare and Hedgeshear


British Composers in ISCM World Music Days 2013


The programme of works selected by the international jury for inclusion in the ISCM World Music Days 2013 in Vienna, Bratislava and Kosice will feature a performance of Robert Rusconi's De Materia solida e corporea.


British Composers in World Music Days 2012 - Flanders

World Music Day Logo

The programme of works, selected for inclusion by the international jury, for the ISCM World Music Days, Flanders 25 - 31 October 2012 has been announced and the ISCM Britain and SAM are delighted that the UK will be represented by six composers in the Festival: 

Adam Stansbie - Escapade (electroacoustic work)
25 October 2012, 22:00 - Brussels. Theatre Marni - Musiques & recherches

Richard Whalley Interlocking Melodies for string quartet (performed by Quatuor Danel)
28 October 2012, 14:00 - Leuven. Transit Festival

Thomas Simaku Flauto acerbo (Soliloquy V) for solo recorder (performed by Apsara)
1 November 2012, 17:00 - Bruges. Concertgebouw

Robert Rusconi Elegie for double bass and live electronics (selected by the ECPNM European Competition for Live Electronic Music Projects 2012, held under auspices of ISCM WMD)
3 November, Antwerp. De Singel

Jonathan Harvey Sringara Chaconne for ensemble (Hermes Ensemble)
4 November, 18:00 - Antwerp. De Singel

Ed Hughes A Buried Flame for choir (Aquarius vocal ensemble)
4 November, 20:00 - Antwerp. De Singel


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