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“Happy New Ears” Initiative

Referring to John Cage’s ironic invitation to “listen without prejudice”, the composer, conductor and author Hans Zender has named a new initiative by his Hans und Gertrud Zender Foundation “Happy New Ears”. The foundation has been awarding the “Happy New Ears Prize” every two years since 2011 in close collaboration with the Bayerische Akademie der Schönen Künste, with the musica viva and with BR-KLASSIK des Bayerischen Rundfunks. The award comprises three categories: one for composing and two prizes for publishing efforts in New Music. The Composer’s Prize is designed for “courageous colleagues who are not merely interested in immediate success”, while the Publishing Prize “aims to show gratitude to people who contribute to the formation of ‘new ears’ with their work.”

The three prizes of a combined 22,000 Euros are not advertised and hence applications are not possible. The Hans und Gertrud Zender Foundation appoints two juries who personally select the award recipients.

Hans und Gertrud Zender (c) Astrid Ackermann

Hans and Gertrud Zender at the award ceremony of the “Happy New Ears” initiative in 2013. Foto: Astrid Ackermann.

Award Ceremony 2017

The Presentation of the Happy New Ears-price for composition to Mark Andre and of the Happy New Ears-Preises for contemporary music publications to Dieter Mersch is happening at the Award Ceremony on 7 July 2017 at 5.00 pm.

Find out more about the event.

Award Recipients 2015

Rebecca Saunders – Award for Composition 2015*

Gerhard Rohde – Award for Publishing in New Music 2015

Christian Grüny – Award for Publishing in New Music 2015

* Rebecca Saunders erhielt in Zusammenhang mit dem “Happy New Ears”-Preis einen Kompositionsauftrag von der musica viva für das Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks. Ihr Werk Alba für Trompete und Orchester (2014) wurde am 20. Februar 2015 im Herkulessaal unter der Leitung von Peter Eötvös uraufgeführt.

Jury members for the selection of the “Happy New Ears”-Award for Composition

Winrich Hopp
Helmut Lachenmann
Isabel Mundry
Hans Zender

Jury members for the selection of the “Happy New Ears” – Award for Publishing in New Music

Oswald Beaujean
Siegfried Mauser
Peter Ruzicka
Jörn Peter Hiekel

Award recipients of the “Happy New Ears”-Prize since 2011:

Isabel Mundry – Award for Composition 2013
Martin Zenck – Award for Publishing in New Music 2013
Håvard Enge – Award for Publishing in New Music2013

Enno Poppe – Award for Composition 2011
Philippe Albèra – Award for Publishing in New Music 2011