The Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation

The foundation was established in 1972 by Ernst von Siemens, grandson of the Siemens company’s founder Werner von Siemens, and began its work in 1973 – the same year the first Ernst von Siemens Music Prize was awarded to Benjamin Britten. Since then, the EvS Music Prize has been presented every year to a composer, performer or musicologist who has made great contributions to the world of music, including Olivier Messiaen, Mstislav Rostropovich, Luciano Berio, Hans Werner Henze, György Ligeti, Claudio Abbado, Helmut Lachenmann, György Kurtág, Wolfgang Rihm, Mariss Jansons and Rebecca Saunders, to name but a few.

The winner of the 2022 Ernst von Siemens Music Prize is Olga Neuwirth. The prizegiving ceremony will take place on June 2, 2022 in Munich's Prinzregententheater. The laudatory speech for Olga Neuwirth will be given by the Austrian author Raphaela Edelbauer. Ensemble intercontemporain will perform works by the prizewinner under the baton of Matthias Pintscher. 

The 2022 Composer Prizes worth €35,000 will go to Benjamin Attahir from France, Naomi Pinnock from the UK and Mikel Urquiza from Spain. Further to the prize money, each composer will benefit from a high-quality music production.
Born in 1989 in Toulouse, Benjamin Attahir studied composition with Marc-André Dalbavie, Gérard Pesson and Pierre Boulez, violin with Ami Flammer and is also now a sought-after conductor. He possesses a penetrating sense for the tonal and technical elements of all the instruments he uses, making his music tactile in nature. Naomi Pinnock was born in 1979 and grew up in the small town of Cleckheaton in West Yorkshire. She studied composition with Harrison Birtwistle and Brian Elias in London and with Wolfgang Rihm in Karlsruhe. The reduced nature and fragility of her sound world – especially in her vocal works – gives her music a unique beauty which immediately touches those who hear it. Mikel Urquiza was born in Bilbao in 1988 and studied composition with Gabriel Erkoreka and Ramon Lazkano at the Musikene in San Sebastián, and with Gérard Pesson at the Paris Conservatoire. With a sublime sense of virtuosity, he produces inexhaustible music pent up with energy that defies classification and focusses on the topic of memory.

For the second time the EvS Music Foundation awards Ensemble Prizes to two young ensembles, each of whom will receive an endowment of €75.000 to support them in their artistic development as individually and sustainably as possible. The Ensemble Prizes 2021/22 go to Explore Ensemble from Great Britain and Spółdzielnia Muzyczna from Poland.
he deadline for the 2022/23 EvS Ensemble prizes is 15 March 2022:
Applications will be accepted from young, professional ensembles in the consolidation phase. The ensemble should be focussed on the performance of contemporary music and at least two-thirds of its members should be younger than 35.

In 2017 the EvS Music Foundation initiated the PROGETTO POSITANO fellowship for young composers partnering with Berlin-based ensemble mosaik. Each year the programme allows two recipients a four week working residency at the Wilhelm Kempff Kulturstiftung’s Casa Orfeo on the Italian Amalfi coast. Following their residencies, works of the composers are presented by ensemble mosaik at a double portrait concert in Berlin. 
The Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation provides additional funding for the räsonanz – Donor concerts. In collaboration with Lucerne Festival and musica viva of Bavarian Radio, the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation enables annual concerts with internationally acclaimed orchestras and renowned soloists, who perform the works of contemporary composers in Munich and Lucerne. The concerts will take place on 30th August 2022 in the KKL Lucerne and on 29th September 2022 in the Prinzregententheater in Munich. 

The majority of the funding, i.e. more than €3m, is to be distributed to approx. 130 contemporary music projects worldwide. The Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation supports the commissioning of compositions from small ensembles to choral/orchestral works across Europe: from the UK to Slovakia, from Canada to Chile. It also enables commissions for music theatre, e.g. Sycorax from Georg Friedrich Haas at the Bühnen Bern. Support is likewise given to concerts and festivals from Reykjavik to Prague, Milan and New York. The Schönberg Complete Edition is to be completed with the publication of volumes 77 and 78 thanks to the ongoing support of the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation. And support is also given to various young-composer/performer institutions, for example to the Collège Contemporain in Paris.

The awarding of prizes and grants is undertaken by the Foundation’s Board of Trustees, whose chairman is Thomas Angyan, with Ilona Schmiel as vice-chairwoman. Nikolaus Brass, Winrich Hopp, Ulrich Mosch, Isabel Mundry, Enno Poppe, Wolfgang Rihm, Carolin Widmann, and Andrea Zietzschmann complete the group.

The EvS Music Foundation itself is led by its Foundation Board, which is currently chaired by Peter Ruzicka, member of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts. Further members include Ferdinand von Siemens as vice-chairman, Eric Fellhauer, Elisabeth Oltramare, Herbert Scheidt, and Christoph von Seidel.