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 2021 Ernst von Siemens Music Prize and the three Composer Prizes will be announced on June 15, 2021 during the award ceremony for 2020’s prize winner Tabea Zimmermann. The prizegiving ceremony will take place on February 17, 2021 in Munich’s Muffathalle.

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 award winning ensembles for 2021/22 will be announced in Fall 2021 at Instagram.com/evs_ensembleprize.

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. This year's fellows are Liisa Hirsch and Chris Swithinbank. Another initiative of the EvS Music Foundation is the donor concert series räsonanz that runs since 2016. Together with its partners Lucerne Festival and musica viva of the Bayerischer Rundfunk, the foundation enables one concert in Munich as well as one in Lucerne every year featuring international top-ranking orchestras and acclaimed soloists performing the works of presentday composers.

The primary focus of the EvS Music Foundation is the promotion of contemporary music – music projects are supported almost all over the world. While only seven projects were funded in 1973, in 2021 there are around 140 music projects, whether in Montevideo or Chicago, in Tel Aviv, Paris or Tallinn. The largest share of the funding will finance and support composition commissions in 2021. Festivals and concerts as well as event series, symposia and scientific publications are just as important to the EvS Music Foundation as the promotion of competitions, academies, and workshops. In addition to traditional concert formats, concept ideas were also selected that employ performative, theatrical, multimedia and digital forms.

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 vicechairman, Hubert Achermann, Eric Fellhauer, Elisabeth Oltramare, Herbert Scheidt, and Christoph von Seidel.