Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and Oram Awards 2022

It’s back. The annual Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (hcmf//) returns, after several years away grabbling with the limitations of Covid-19, bringing musicians and audiences from around the world together to experience the very best contemporary music. We’re delighted to be working with the festival once again and this year – the festival’s forty-fifth year – our involvement and support includes the presentation of the first International Oram Awards, the attendance of invited music guests from outside the UK and concerts part of two of our seasons, the UK-Australia Season and the continuing UK-Ukraine Season.

It’s such a great pleasure to have the British Council working in partnership with hcmf// again in 2022. The return to in-person international participation at the festival for the first time since 2019 feels vital, especially given the turmoil of the Ukraine war and the unsettled political and economic landscape.

– Joel Mills, Acting Director, Music

hcmf// attracts leading composers and performers from around the world for 10 days of events, concerts, talks and film, all with an aim to introduce new audiences to the world of cutting-edge experimental music. The guests we’ve invited are here, not just to witness fantastic music, but also to meet their UK counterparts, make connections and see a wide range of innovative UK work.


Oram Awards

The Oram Awards celebrate the latest innovation in sound, music and related technologies to elevate the work and voices of women, Trans and Non-Binary music creators, and this year’s awards will be presented at hcmf// on 24 November.

For this year’s Oram Awards, there’s a brand new category that we’re supporting – the international awards and the winners are Rani Jambak and FRKTL who have won a special commendation bursary of £1,500 and £500 respectively.

You can find out more about the Oram Awards and this year’s winners at the Oram Awards website.

Above: This year we're supporting the new Oram International Award and the winners are FRKTL (left) and Rani Jambak (right)


UK-Ukraine Season at hcmf//

As part of our UK-Ukraine Season – giving a voice to Ukrainian creatives and connecting creative artists and audiences – several performances at this year’s hcmf// festival will feature music and musicians from Ukraine.

This year’s programme reflects the world we currently live in; asks questions around identity and the changing relevance of borders; exploring who we are now, as a species on a planet in crisis.

– Graham McKenzie, hcmf// Artistic Director

To kick off hcmf//on 18 November, Chornobyldorf sees a new, contemporary media-opera from the Ukrainian composers Roman Grygoriv and Illia Razumeiko, combining microtonal scales and harmonies, experiments with prepared musical instruments, life electronics, and meta-quotes.

Also, as part of the UK-Ukraine Season, 18 November sees String Air Synthesis at the Bates Mill Photographic Studio where composed and improvised pieces with feature a Kharkiv-style bandura and flute duo.

On 20 November, Spleen and Plexus, by Ukrainian composer Anna Korsun, with be performed by Riot Ensemble 1, incorporating vocalizations and instrumental cries, demonstrating Anna’s unique voice.

These performances are produced by hcmf// as part of the UK/Ukraine Season of Culture supported by us at the British Council, together with the Ukrainian Institute.


UK-Australia Season at hcmf//

In previous years at hcmf//, we’ve invited Australian delegates to head to the festival and soak up the music. This year, many Australians at the festival are the music! There will be a UK/Australia Season 2021-22 showcase at hcmf// with performances by the Australian Art Orchestra, chamber ensemble Decibel and Speak Percussion. Find the listing below and follow the links for further details from the UK-Australia Season website. You can also follow the UK-Australia Season on Instagram.

Friday 25 November, 16.00

Australian Art Orchestra: Solos at the Bates Mill Photographic Studio

Saturday 26 November, 12.00

Australian Chamber Ensemble Decibel at St Paul’s Hall

Saturday 26 November 2022, 20.00

Australian Art Orchestra: Fresh Water – Salt Walter (2022) – the UK Premiere at Bates Mill Blending Shed

Sunday 27 November, 16.00

Speak Percussion present Polar Force – Agglomeration of Measurement at Huddersfield Town Hall

Friday 25 – Sunday 27 November, 11.00 – 16.00

Speak Percussion present Polar Force – Array at Huddersfield Town Hall


Our international delegation

We have six international delegates joining us at hcmf// this year. They're here to link up with others of a similar mind set on contemporary music.

Above: our delegates at this year's hcmf// include (clockwise from top left): Miguel Photo (Copyright A. Casasola & D. Iglesias), Bozhena Pelenska, Adra Karim, Yelda Özgen and Thiago Curry.

Adra Karim is a Jakarta-based musician, known for his studio and live performance work with an eclectic range of projects and collaborators and has performed around Europe and Asia. Besides being a music producer and educator, he has also taken the role of music director and arranger for big bands, small and larger ensembles and orchestras.

Anothai Nitibhon is a composer, artist and researcher, basing her musical research on the idea of intercultural dialogues between cultures, integrating musical languages of a professionally trained, contemporary-style to the folk-based oral tradition and combing together various types of performers including professional musicians, folk-musicians, children and people with no musical background.

Bozhena Pelenska is the Artistic and Executive Director of the Jam Factory Art Center – a contemporary art centre located in a former industrial neighborhood of Lviv, Ukraine. Bozhena, cultural and art manager, contemporary culture researcher and curator, is responsible for artistic programming, external communication, strategic development, and partnership of the art organisation.

Dr. Miguel Ángel Marín has, since 2009, been acting as Director of the Music Programme at the Fundación Juan March in Madrid, in charge of curating a season of some 160 concerts per year. As part of his musicological research, he is author or editor of ten books, including Joseph Haydn y el cuarteto de cuerda (2009) and Mozart’s Requiem KV 626 in Pamplona (1844): a study and music edition (2020). He holds a PhD in musicology from Royal Holloway University of London.

Thiago Cury is a Brazilian arts manager, musical producer and studied composer. He’s also the founder and artistic director of Musica Estranha Festival – a unique art music festival based in São Paulo – and ÁguaForte, a record label and publishing house working in the field of classical, jazz, contemporary and world music. He has composed music for plays, films, documentaries and dance.

Yelda Özgen, studied cello, chamber music and orchestral work at Istanbul University State Conservatory. Özgen has given a number of solo and chamber music concerts, played in Cemal Reşit Rey Symphony Orchestra and Enka Sinfonietta and features on Ege ve Balkan Dansları and Itri ve Meragi with the same ensemble. She is now teaching as an associate professor at Istanbul Technical University Turkish Music State Conservatory and working as the director of the Istanbul Technical University Dr. Erol Üçer Center for Advanced Studies in Music (MIAM).