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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 two categories: one prize for composing and one prize 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 prizes are not advertised and hence applications are not possible. The Hans und Gertrud Zender Foundation appoints two juries who personally select the award recipients.

Award recipients 2019

Klaus Ospald – Award for Composition 2019

Jörn Peter Hiekel – Award for Publishing in New Music 2019

Find out more about the award ceremony on 22 November 2019.

Jury members

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
Peter Ruzicka
Lucas Fels

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 recipients since 2011

Mark Andre – Award for Composition 2017
Dieter Mersch – Award for Publishing in New Music 2017

Rebecca Saunders – Award for Composition 2015
Gerhard Rohde – Award for Publishing in New Music 2015
Christian Grüny – Award for Publishing in New Music 2015

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