Goodness you're a miserable bunch aren't you? There's at least a handful of excellent pieces/composers on that list. I was up for a nuanced/detailed discussion about things that we might have liked to see included but that weren't, or things on the list that raised eyebrows (there are at least a couple of those for me), but if you're all just going to dismiss the list full stop then I'll go and talk about it somewhere else.
Obviously all the usual caveats about awards/prizes not really mattering apply here too; but I think there is something to be said for the public peer-recognition that comes with it. Composing (or any art) can be a lonely, thankless road to follow at times, and surely only the grittiest curmudgeon would begrudge their colleagues a moment of satisfaction at his or her achievements.
I'm sad to say I've only heard one piece on that list, and that only via a radio broadcast (and a recording gratefully received from this thread's originator); but glad that it was Julian Anderson's Fantasias
, which I found more thrilling than any other new orchestral piece by a British composer since, well, Vanity
I suppose, and that's going back a while
(The list also has a few former teachers and several colleagues of around the same age as me, so I wish them well.)
Something else about the list is revealing too - I suppose the reason I haven't heard most of these works is that I'd have had to get myself to London (or maybe Birmingham) to hear them (apart from one of the Suckling pieces and the Sweeney - it's my own fault I missed them probably) which serves as a reminder that for the most part, in the British new music establishment, if it ain't happening in London, it ain't happening. Perhaps this is unfair; but if the shortlist is based on the number of nominations, and the majority of those doing the nominating are based in or around London...though again I should put my hand up and say I've never nominated anything - maybe I'll start.
Also, the British Composer Awards always seem to have several multiple-nominees on the list (this year I count 3), as if only a couple of handfuls of composers are producing anything worthwhile in any given year. This cannot be right IMO, and I wonder how it comes about.
Anyway, an interesting list, and I'm going to try and catch as many of the pieces as I can if they are broadcast on R3.