Ernst von Siemens, (c) 2010

The Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation

In 1972 Ernst von Siemens, the grandson of the industrial entrepreneur Werner von Siemens, established the foundation that bears his name. Every year the Foundation awards the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize to a composer, performer, or scholar who has made outstanding contributions to the world of music. Known as the "Nobel Prize of Music," the award has increasingly drawn international attention over the years and will be accompanied by a € 250,000 cash endowment in 2013. 

In total the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation is awarding 3 million euros. This year around 2,6 million euros are being distributed to support contemporary music projects in more than twenty countries all over the world. Along with commissioned works, concerts and events are also supported, as well as educationally valuable projects that give children and adolescents access to contemporary music. Competitions, academies and workshops where music students and young composers, conductors and instrumentalists can demonstrate their skills, individual academic publications and complete editions also sponsored. In addition, numerous festivals receive yearly grants from the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation in recognition of their contribution to contemporary music.

The Foundation's Board of Trustees includes the composers Wolfgang Rihm, Peter Ruzicka and Isabel Mundry, the musicologist Hermann Danuser (Humboldt University, Berlin), and the cultural managers Thomas von Angyan (Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, Vienna), Ilona Schmiel (Beethovenfest Bonn), Nikos Tsouchlos (Megaron Athens) and Winrich Hopp (musica viva, Munich). According to the Foundation's bylaws, the chairmanship of the Board of Supervisors is held by the president of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts, and one of its members must be a descendent of the Siemens family. 

To date there have been thirty-eight recipients of the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize. The laureates include Benjamin Britten, Olivier Messiaen, Mstislav Rostropovich, Witold Lutosławski, Luciano Berio, Hans Werner Henze, György Ligeti, Claudio Abbado, Maurizio Pollini, Helmut Lachenmann, György Kurtág, and Daniel Barenboim, to name only a few.