Kranichstein Music Prize

Since its foundation in 1952, the Kranichstein Music Prize (Kranichsteiner Musikpreis) has been closely linked to the Darmstadt Summer Course. It has been awarded 34 times to a total of 175 laureates so far. For many of them the renowned prize has been an important milestone at the beginning of their career as musician, ensemble or composer.
The total endowment sum of the Kranichstein Music Prize in 2014 will be 6,000 EUR, consisting of 3,000 EUR for the interpretation prize (ensemble or soloist) and 3,000 EUR for composition. These two awards are complemented by a number of scholarships for the participation in the following Darmstadt Summer Course.
The prize is awarded for a work / performance which the jury judges to be outstanding in terms of quality and impact. The jury judges by the following criteria:

Composition: Originality, coherence, willingness to take risks, choice of means in order to archieve the artistic goal, clearness in thought and expression, collaboration with other artists during the Summer Course, intelligence in notation and form as well as a profound knowledge of the used instruments and sound producers.


Interpretation: Creativity, presence on stage, commitment, collaboration with other artists during the Summer Course, adherence to the text, efficent communication with the audience and (in ensembles) other musicians, clearness in the interpretative approach, sound quality, control over the instrument.  


Composers, ensembles/musicians who take part in the Darmstadt Summer Course can be taken into account for the prize. Compositions are considered when a live performance of the work takes place in an officially scheduled concert during the Summer Course. (This includes the performance of a tape / electronic piece to an audience in a concert or installation setting.) Interpreters (soloists and ensembles) are judged on live performance during the Summer Course.


The Kranichstein Music Prize winners and the scholarship holders are chosen by an independent jury coming from different fields of New Music. In 2010 and 2012 the jury consisted of James Clarke (composer), Bernhard Günther (music dramaturg) and Barbara Maurer (violist).


During the Darmstadt Summer Course 2014 music journalist Carolin Naujocks, composer Hannes Seidl and accordionist Eva Zöllner had heard all official concerts and awarded the prizes during the final concert on 16 August 2014: Ashley Fure (US) received the prize for composition and Ensemble Distractfold (GB) was awarded the prize for interpretation.

The Kranichstein Music Prize jury 2016 will consist of Joanna Bailie (composer), Thorbjørn Tønder Hansen (festival director) and Eva Zöllner (accordionist).

Bailie, Joanna (Jury Kranichstein Music Prize)

Born in London in 1973. She studied composition with Richard Barrett, electronic music at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in Holland and received a Masters from Columbia University in 2001. Her recent work includes pieces for chamber ensemble, orchestra and installation, and is characterized by its interest in recorded media and the interplay between the audio and visual. She has taught composition at City University London, The Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus and at the 2014 edition of the Darmstadt Summer Courses. Joanna is also active
as a curator, running Ensemble Plus-Minus together with composer Matthew Shlomowitz, and acting as the guest programmer at the 2010 SPOR Festival in Denmark, as well as at the 2015 edition of the BBC Radio 3 Cut and Splice Festival. In 2016 she will be a guest of the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin-program.

Hansen, Thorbjørn Tønder (Jury Kranichstein Music Prize)

Thorbjørn Tønder Hansen ist Direktor des SNYK – dem nationalen Zentrum für zeitgenössische, experimentelle Musik und Klangkunst in Dänemark. SNYK engagiert sich für die Szene in Dänemark und die dänische Szene im Ausland, zudem veranstaltet es das jährliche Festival G((o))ng in Kopenhagen, für das Hansen künstlerischer Leiter ist.
2008/09 war er Projektleiter des EU-geförderten Netzwerks Re:New Music, das zum New:Aud network weiter entwickelt wurde. 2006/07 war er Kurator für Stavanger Europäische Kulturhauptstadt 2008. Von 2000-06 war Hansen Geschäftsführer des Cikada Ensembles und Streichquartetts in Oslo und arbeitete als Produktionsleiter beim Ultima Festival. Er besitzt einen Master-Abschluss in Komparatistik mit einer Arbeit über Henrik Ibsen und das deutsche Theater.

Zöllner, Eva (Jury Kranichstein Music Prize)

Eva Zöllner studied classical accordion in Cologne and Copenhagen and is one of the most active accordionists of her generation. As internationally acclaimed soloist she appears in projects ranging from experimental solo performances to concerts with renowned ensembles. An important part of her work is the close cooperation with composers of her generation. She has premiered more than 100 new works for her instrument. Lately she is particularly interested in the potential of the accordion within electro-acoustic music and multimedia art. Eva is based in Hamburg and lives as a nomadic musician, travelling around the world to explore her instrument in different cultures and contexts.

Eva Zöllner, Photo: Henning Bode