Rohan Chander wins the Gaudeamus Award 2022. The young composer-performer received our prestigious incentive prize for young music pioneers on Sunday 11 September during the final night of Gaudeamus Festival 2022 in TivoliVredenburg in Utrecht, The Netherlands. In the words of the jury: “Rohan Chander is an electronic artist and world-builder who demonstrates the ability to synthesize various and disparate elements into a clear, considered and identity-driven work.”
Five composers were nominated for the Award this year: Bethany Younge, Bekah Simms, Alex Paxton, Baldwin Giang and Chander. Their music was played throughout the festival and each of them wrote a new piece especially for the festival, for ensemble But What About or the duo Two Envelopes. The five composers were selected from a total of 222 submissions from all over the world.
The jury – consisting of composers Ted Hearne (who won the Award himself in 2009), Ann Cleare and Huang Ruo – said the following about the other four nominees:
Baldwin Giang is an expressive and politically-minded artist creating harmonically driven and finely weaved works with exceptional craft and a keen attention to detail.
Composer and trombonist Alex Paxton translates a maximal and uncompromising vision of his world’s full tapestry into dense and exuberant works.
Bekah Simms is a composer and deep listener creating strongly intuitive and formally striking work seeded in a technique that is ever-evolving yet integrated seamlessly with the music itself.
Composer Bethany Younge uncannily merges sound and theater, body and scenario, in intriguing collaborative works, each staging their own imaginative ecology.
The Award consists of a commission to write a new piece for an upcoming edition of the festival. The physical form of the Award has been designed by visual artist Nuni Weisz, and is an instrument / sculpture named Inner Voice Amplifier, that allows you to hear your own voice the way it sounds when it leaves your body.
Winning the Gaudeamus Award often means an international recognition for a composer, and many have jumpstarted their career after winning. Look at the full list of Award winners since 1957.
Photo: Paulus van Dorsten