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. The award has increasingly drawn international attention over the years and will be accompanied by a € 250,000 cash endowment in 2020. 

In total, the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation has awarded over 3,6 million euros in prize money and subsidies in 2020. The largest share is 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.

Since 1990 the Foundation additionally awards up to three Composers' Prizes to promising talents which come with 35.000 Euro each. The Composer Prize Winners 2020 will be announced on 19 February 2020.

The Foundation's Board of Trustees includes the composers Isabel Mundry, Nikolaus Brass, Enno Poppe and Wolfgang Rihm, the violinist Carolin Widmann, the musicologist Ulrich Mosch (University of Geneva) and the cultural managers Thomas von Angyan (Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, Vienna), Ilona Schmiel (Tonhalle Zürich), Winrich Hopp (musica viva, Munich), and Andrea Zietzschmann (Foundation Berliner Philharmoniker).

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 fourty-seven 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, Daniel Barenboim, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Mariss Jansons and Rebecca Saunders to name only a few.