New Works

Contemporary music plays a major role in all Young Euro Classic projects. The Festival offers a platform for contemporary music and also commissions new works from young composers.

From its very beginning, Young Euro Classic has had the goal of giving contemporary music a platform, and this profound conviction means that the festival of the world’s best youth orchestras never allows its ties to contemporary music production, tomorrow’s composers and new works around the world slacken. In this context, the festival’s motto “Tomorrow’s musicians today” expands to include “tomorrow’s music today”: year after year, Young Euro Classic supports the creation of a remarkably diverse range of artful new sounds, and its European Composer Award throws a special spotlight on today’s colourful new music scene and the ever-increasing diversity of contemporary music.

The European Composer Award is donated by the Governing Mayor of Berlin as part of Young Euro Classic. The prize goes to the best world premiere or German premiere presented at the festival. The decision who receives the prize and its cash value of 5,000 € is made by a volunteer jury composed of ten music-loving laymen plus a chairman.

If you want to form part of the audience jury, please apply in July for the coming season, and take this chance to experience and judge today’s international young composers!

European Composer Award

At the festival Young Euro Classic the Mayor of Berlin presents the European Composer Award to the most deserving candidate.

The award is given in recognition of the festival’s best world premiere or German premiere. It is endowed with 5.000 euros. An 11-member audience jury determines the winner.

European Composer Award 2016

Liisa Hirsch Wins Award for her Work Mechanics of Flying

The 2016 European Composer Award went to Liisa Hirsch, an Estonian composer, for her work Mechanics of Flying, which had its world premiere in Berlin as part of Young Euro Classic.

Commenting on its choice, the jury praised the “wonderful evocation of moods in the hall and the ethereal atmosphere created by layered overtones. The main auditorium of the Konzerthaus was filled with shimmering, whirring sounds.” The composer’s ability to evoke a full, round sound from the orchestra is impressive. She demands concentration and mindfulness in equal parts from her audience, “avoiding the current tyranny of being overwhelmed and overcome.”  Liisa Hirsch foregoes any cheap effects, developing movements of great subtlety instead.

The Estonian composer Liisa Hirsch, born in 1984, studied with Toivo Tolev at the Estonian Music Academy in Tallinn and with Peter Adriaansz and Cornelis de Bondt at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. Hirsch’s musical interests are broad; thus, she composed works not only for solo instruments (Page One for piano, 2003), but also film music (Elisabeth von Ungern Sternmeer, 2011), ballet (Taivaltajat, 2014), theatre (The Sun Worshippers, 2012) and puppet theatre (Lemonade Tale, 2013). In 2015 she caused a stir with her composition Ascending…Descending for violin and strings at the International Rostrum of Composers. Hirsch’s music is characterized by its meditative intensity, created not least by her conscious use of micro-intervals and noise-like clusters.