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Gaudeamus Award 2019 Selection

The nominees for the Gaudeamus Award 2019 have been selected. The jury of professionals studied all the 285 scores, submitted by 95 composers from all around the world. The five composers that will participate in the Gaudeamus Muziekweek and compete for the Gaudeamus Award 2019 are:

The five nominees were chosen anonymously by the jury, consisting of Gerhard Stäbler (DEU), Clara Iannotta (ITA) and Yannis Kyriakides (CYP/NLD), who won the Gaudeamus Award himself in 2000. 95 composers from 29 different countries submitted a total of 285 scores.

Contrary to last year, the process was not entirely anonymous, the gender of the composer was known to the jury beforehand. From the submissions, 20% turned out to be from a female composer. Gaudeamus strives to increase the number of female submissions to reach a better representation of female composers in future nominations.

Jury L-R: Yannis Kyriakides, Gerhard Stäbler, Clara Iannotta (Photo: Co Broerse)

Jury statement
Yannis Kyriakides explains the choice for the five nominated works:

“In choosing the 5 nominees, the jury wanted to reflect the diversity of the types of compositional practice being carried out today, spanning compelling audiovisual and performative work to skilfully crafted sonic explorations on traditional instruments. Each of the 5 composers reflected an already mature and individual musical universe. Remy Siu’s Foxconn Frequency series are powerful political works that use innovative audiovisual media; in tensions by Scott Rubin seems to be the result of several years of developing choreographic strategies using sensors and live electronics; Talk Circus by Kelley Sheehan creates a highly original and spirited sound world using lo-fi electronics for two percussionists and no-input mixer; the traces that remain by Nicholas Morrish is a poetic and beautiful re-animation of obsolete technologies; and Stefan Maier’s Territories III displays a sumptuous sonic imagination through an arresting narrative concept. Needless to say it was a difficult process to pick 5 composers from almost 100 candidates, and the ones who did not make it will hopefully not be discouraged in applying again next time.”

Clara Ianotta adds:

“Going through all the applications received for the Gaudeamus Prize 2019, I was genuinely surprised to see how much technology plays a role in music nowadays. Composers seek new ways of experiencing sound, react to the limits of notated scores inventing more unusual, personal structures. Words become an alternative to notes, and musicians are not confined to their role of performers — they shape the temporality of the sonic environments that surrounds the audience. Music is not just sound anymore, it becomes a synergetic experience that challenges our centuries-old concert halls. It seems to me a more inclusive way of making music. I was pleased by the highly imaginative worlds that the five nominees showed us, and I am looking forward to discovering more about them, next year in Utrecht.”

Gaudeamus Award
Louis Andriessen, Misha Mengelberg, Pauline Oliveros and Michel van der Aa all were not 30 yet when they won the Gaudeamus Award. The internationally highly renowned price for promising young composers was given for the first time in 1952 to Peter Schat, 22 years old at the time. Since then, a yearly rotating jury of professionals, chooses the most talented composers under 30 from hundreds of submissions. The Gaudeamus Award 2018 was given during the Muziekweek on 9 September to the Finnish music pioneer Sebastian Hilli.

Gaudeamus Muziekweek

Apart from the work of the nominated composers, Gaudeamus Muziekweek showcases many more new compositions, for example by providing commissions to talented music pioneers. In 2018 Gaudeamus commissioned 11 new works. Five of these new compositions are from female composers. For 2019, new commissions are being planned. Gaudeamus has a diverse and inclusive policy, aiming for a good balance in gender and background of composers and musicians for commissions and the rest of the festival programme.