The Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation

The foundation was established in 1972 by Ernst von Siemens, grandson of the founder of the Siemens company Werner von Siemens, which began its work in 1973 in the same year that the first Ernst von Siemens Music Prize was awarded, namely 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, Anne-Sophie Mutter and Rebecca Saunders, to name but a few.

As a result of the Corona pandemic and the unfortunate consequences for many students, musicians, ensembles and institutions, the EvS Music Foundation has increased the annual fund in 2020 by €2 million  to €5.6 million. This extra funding benefits music students facing financial difficulties in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The extra applicationsubmission period enables the Foundation to provide help in a short-term and targeted way. It is the Foundation’s aim to give special consideration to those projects which approach the current situation and its associated restrictions in an especially creative way, or to those who have been confronted with a difficult financial situation as a result of the pandemic. In total, more than 180 contemporary music projects worldwide have received funding in 2020.

The 2020 Ernst von Siemens Music Prize and its endowment of €250,000 has been awarded to the German violist Tabea Zimmermann. The three Composer Prizes have been awarded to Catherine Lamb (USA), Francesca Verunelli (Italy) and Samir Amarouch (France), all of whom have received €35,000. The prizegiving ceremony will take place on 15 June 2021 in the Prinzregententheater in Munich. In 2020, the EvS Music Foundation has also awarded for the first time 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 2020/21 have been awarded to the British Riot Ensemble as well as the Lithuanian Ensemble Synaesthesis.

Further information can be found at

The awarding of prizes to prizewinners and projects 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, Hubert Achermann, Eric Fellhauer, Elisabeth Oltramare, Herbert Scheidt and Christoph von Seidel.