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Innovation and progress come from the bottom up. That is why Gaudeamus presents, stimulates and supports the latest music by young music pioneers. We do this through our annual festival, composition assignments, the Gaudeamus Award, concert series and residencies. For 75 years, Gaudeamus has introduced curious music lovers to the (composed) music of tomorrow: unheard of combinations of genres, fresh perspectives on concert practices and radical new inventions in the field of sound and stage art, without borders or limitations.
The annual Gaudeamus Muziekweek is the oldest music festival in the Netherlands and takes place in Utrecht since 2011. It is the international meeting place for young composers and music pioneers from all over the world. An important part of the Gaudeamus Muziekweek is the Gaudeamus award, an incentive prize for composers up to the age of 35. See a list of recent Gaudeamus Award winners here.
Next to the festival Gaudeamus also organises concert series in TivoliVredenburg and KuuB as well as our Gaudeamus Sessions, presenting try-outs from our own productions, a taste from the festival and work-in-progress by young ensembles and still unknown composers.
Gaudeamus regards the support of the latest generation of music pioneers as one of its most important aims. Thanks to the Dutch Performing Arts Fund’s Nieuwe Makers (New Creators) project, talented up-and-coming musicians are attached to Gaudeamus for a number of years. In this way young artists get the chance to develop in a secure environment and to examine their creative process in depth.
Each year Gaudeamus also commissions many new works. More info on our talent development activities.
Throughout the entire year Gaudeamus Muziekweek is active as a platform for new stimuli and developments in the Dutch and international music world, as an active partner in international networks such as the European Ulysses Network.
Gaudeamus Muziekweek puts itself on the map with international editions. In January 2012 we organised the first Gaudeamus Muziekweek in New York and in 2014 the first edition of Gaudeamus Canada took place in Toronto and Montreal.
Since it was founded in 1945 by Walter Maas in Huize Gaudeamus, the foundation has stimulated development and provided a stage for the newest generation of composers. Now, more than 70 years later, Gaudeamus is internationally recognised as thé expert when it comes to the latest developments in composed music.
In the beginning the Gaudeamus Muziekweek was dedicated to Dutch composers, but already in 1950 it was open to young composers from all over the world. In 1988 the maximum age was lowered to 30 years. Except for the period between 1977 and 1983, there was a composition competition during the Muziekweek with a jury consisting of internationally famous composers.
Since 1984 it has been all about one prize only: the Gaudeamus Prize, since 2015 known as the Gaudeamus Award, which consists of a commission worth € 5000 that will be performed during the Gaudeamus Muziekweek the following year.
In 1983 Gaudeamus left Huize Gaudeamus in Bilthoven and moved to Amsterdam. On the first of January 2011 the Foundation Gaudeamus Muziekweek became an independent organisation located in Utrecht. Since then it has grown into one of the most important initiators of new music activities in the city.
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Corona and Gaudeamus
For current information on how Gaudeamus takes precautionary measures against the spread of COVID-19 please visit this page