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About the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation

The foundation was established in 1972 by Ernst von Siemens, grandson of the company founder Werner von Siemens. It began its work at the beginning of 1973 and in the same year the first Ernst von Siemens Music Prize was awarded – to Benjamin Britten. Since then, the foundation has awarded the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize every year to a composer, performer or musicologist who has made outstanding contributions to international musical life. Previous winners include Olivier Messiaen, Mstislav Rostropovich, Luciano Berio, Hans Werner Henze, György Ligeti, Claudio Abbado, Helmut Lachenmann, György Kurtág, Wolfgang Rihm, Mariss Jansons, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Rebecca Saunders and Tabea Zimmermann.


The Ernst von Siemens Music Prize 2024, endowed with 250,000 euros, goes to the South Korean composer Unsuk Chin. The 2024 composer prizes, each endowed with 35,000 euros, will go to Bára Gísladóttir from Iceland, the Italian Daniele Ghisi and Yiqing Zhu from China. The award ceremony will take place on May 18, 2024 in the Herkules Hall of the Munich Residence.

The Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation also awards two Ensemble Prizes. With 75,000 euros each, two young ensembles are supported as individually and sustainably as possible in their artistic and structural development. For the Ensemble Prize 2024, the Board of Trustees chose the ensembles BROKEN FRAMES SYNDICATE and Frames Percussion. The ensembles stood out from the many applications submitted due to their technical precision, their innovative programmes and, last but not least, their openness towards young composers and their work. For the first time, the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation is cooperating with the Beethovenfest Bonn, where the ensembles will have the opportunity to perform live in autumn 2024.

The application period for the Ensemble Prizes 2025 will be from January 15 until March 15, 2024.

Young, professional ensembles in the consolidation phase can apply. Two thirds of the ensemble members should be younger than 35. The ensemble should be dedicated exclusively to contemporary repertoire.

To the prizes


In 2017, the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation initiated the PROGETTO POSITANO scholarship for young composers in collaboration with the Berlin-based ensemble mosaik. Each year, the programme enables two scholarship holders to spend four weeks working at the Casa Orfeo of the Wilhelm Kempff Cultural Foundation on the Amalfi Coast in Italy. Following their stay, the works of the composers are presented by ensemble mosaik in a concert portrait in Berlin. Works by this year's scholarship holders Ricardo Eizirik and Jack Sheen will be performed on October 24, 2024 in the Betonhalle at Silent Green in Berlin.

Another initiative of the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation are the räsonanz donor concerts. Together with the Lucerne Festival and musica viva of the Bayerischer Rundfunk, the Foundation makes possible annual concerts with top international orchestras and renowned soloists performing works by contemporary composers in Munich and Lucerne. The concerts take place on September 12, 2024 at the KKL Lucerne and on September 28, 2024 in the Prinzregententheater in Munich.

To the initiatives

Funding Projects

The largest share of the annual funding, more than three million euros, goes to around 130 contemporary music projects worldwide. The Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation supports commissions for compositions ranging from small ensembles to choral and orchestral works from Great Britain to Slovakia, from Canada to Chile. Concerts and festivals from Reykjavik to Prague, Milan and New York also receive funding. Numerous academies for young composers and performers are also supported.

To the funding projects

Board of Trustees and Foundation Board

The Foundation's Board of Trustees is responsible for selecting the prizewinners and the projects to be supported. Its members are Thomas Angyan as chairman, Ilona Schmiel as vice chairwoman, Nikolaus Brass, Winrich Hopp, Clara Iannotta, Ulrich Mosch, Enno Poppe, Wolfgang Rihm and Tamara Stefanovich.  

More about the Board of Trustees

Responsibility for the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation lies with the Foundation Board. It is chaired by Tabea Zimmermann, member of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts. Other members are Ferdinand von Siemens as Vice Chairman, Elisabeth Bourqui, Eric Fellhauer, Elisabeth Oltramare, Herbert Scheidt, Christoph von Seidel and Christian Wildmoser.

More about the Foundation Board