A BLACKBURN-born composer is the toast of the classical music world after picking up his second 'Oscar' in two years.

James Weeks was presented with an Ivor at the Composer Awards at the British Museum.

The Ivors celebrate the best of new classical works premiered throughout the year and James won the Small Chamber category for his piece Leafleoht.

"I really wasn't expecting it," said James, 41. "Composing can be something of a lonely process so it is very gratifying to know that something you have created has an impact on other people."

James, currently assistant professor in music at Durham University, has strong East Lancashire connections. His father John taught English at Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Blackburn, and his grandfather Douglas Coulson was the head teacher at QEGS for many years.

James' winning composition was written to be performed by a string quartet.

He said: "The title is something I made up by putting two Anglo Saxon words together. It means leaf light and I was inspired to write it after seeing light refracting through the leaves of a bush. I was sitting there looking at this bush when I was on the Northumbrian Coast and it struck me how pure the quality of the light was and I've tried to reflect that in the music."

The Ivors Composer Awards celebrate music creators in the classical, jazz and sonic art fields. Last year James won in the chamber ensemble category for a piece he composed to be performed by six voices.

"The world of new music is not a particularly large scene," he said. "But by being recognised with these awards it will hopefully get my music out to a few more people. It is all about taking gradual steps."

Leafleoht took James around four months to complete as he was composing while working at the university, running his own vocal ensemble Exaudi and juggling that with normal family life.

"I won't be making it three award in a row," he said, "as I won't have had any new music out in time for the deadline for the 2020 awards."

For his next work James has been working on his first orchestral piece which is due to be performed in Glasgow in May by the BBC Scotland Symphony Orchestra.

Oswaldtwistle-born composer Sir Harrison Birtwistle was nominated in the solo or duo category in this year's Ivors.