The beating heart of Gaudeamus is the Gaudeamus Award. Four composers were nominated in 2021 for this coveted prize and their music could be heard during various concerts at Gaudeamus 2021. In this concert, Asko|Schönberg, the leading Dutch ensemble for new music, played brand-new music by Award-nominated Gen Tanaka and Annika Socolofsky – who ended up winning the Award.
Vamachara, the title of Gen Tanaka’s new work, is a Sanskrit word meaning to achieve spiritual awakening in a clandestine, unconventional way. The choice of title is characteristic of a composer who is constantly trying to transcend the everyday world in his music. On the other hand, the boundaries that Annika Socolofsky tries to challenge in her music are those of restrictive gender roles. Her piece Who Am I to Say? rebels against the nursery rhymes that teach girls from an early age to accept a subordinate role. There will also be new work by Saed Haddad, the Jordanian-German composer who was involved as a jury member in the selection of the four Award nominees – with harmonica player Hermine Deurloo, who is particularly popular in the jazz world, playing a starring role.