BCMG celebrates 75th Sound Investment premiere

Original music crowd funding scheme began in Birmingham.

Judith Weir, Master of the Queens Music

The UK’s first crowd funding scheme for classical music will celebrate the completion of its 75th commission this February.

Birmingham Contemporary Music Group set up its Sound Investment programme in 1991 with the aim of raising much-needed funds to support living composers through the commissioning of new music. 24 years on, the group has supported the creation of 75 new pieces of classical music, with several more currently in progress.

Noteworthy composers who have benefitted from the scheme include Judith Weir, recently named Master of the Queen’s Music, and Thomas Adés, considered one of the most important figures in British classical music. David Lang’s Crowd Out, a song for 1,000 voices performed at Millennium Point last year, was another Sound Investment commission.

Sound Investment was the first crowd-funding scheme for classical music in the UK. Music fans can ‘invest’ set sums of money, which allows BCMG to commission composers to create new pieces of music. The Sound Investors are then invited to hear the premiere of their works as well as visit rehearsals and meet the composer and performers.

Just under 350 individuals have become Sound Investors to date, raising over £300,000. They come from across the UK and indeed the wider world.

The 75th Sound Investment commission with be premiered at the Wigmore Hall in London next month before a performance at the CBSO Centre, Birmingham.

Pic: Judith Weir, Master of the Queen’s Music.