Errollyn Wallen, composition teacher at Trinity Laban, has won the 2013 Ivor Novello Award for Classical Music, the first woman ever to do so.The award was presented to Errollyn by Bradley Hemmings at Grosvenor House Hotel in May, and she thanked everyone at Trinity Laban: "I would like to thank you for the tremendous support you have shown me throughout the years. That support and encouragement has kept this particular composer going."
Errolyn was born in Belize and initially studied at the Dance Theater of Harlem, New York, before coming to the UK to study and then teach composition. She has gone on to create an extraordinarily broad repertoire of work, from avant-garde classical music to jazz and pop songs. Errollyn was made an MBE in 2007 for services to music, and earlier this year she won the FIPA d'Or for Best Original Music in a Television Series, for her soundtrack for the BBC drama One Night.
Errollyn was commissioned to compose two works (Principia and Spirit in Motion) for the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games last year; as well as Diamond Greenwich, played in front of Her Majesty The Queen, in 2012.
The Ivor Novello Awards, named after the Cardiff-born entertainer Ivor Novello, are awards for songwriting and composing. They are presented annually in London by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) and were first introduced in 1955.
Nicknamed The Ivors, the awards are respected worldwide as the major platform for recognising and rewarding Britain's songwriting and composing talents. The Ivors remain the only award ceremony in the musical calendar that is not influenced by publishers and record companies but judged and presented by the writing community.