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 36 times to a total of 179 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 2018 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 2018 the jury will consist of composer Joanna Bailie, music journalist Theresa Beyer and oboe player Peter Veale.


During the Darmstadt Summer Course 2016, a jury of Joanna Bailie (composer), Thorbjørn Tønder Hansen (festival director) and Eva Zöllner (accordionist) awarded the prize for composition to Celeste Oram (NZ) and the one for interpretation to trombone player Weston Olencki (US).

Weston Olencki 2016 in Darmstadt
Performance Celeste Oram in Darmstadt 2016

Bailie, Joanna (Jury Kranichstein Music Prize)

Born 1973 in London. She studied composition with Richard Barrett, electronic music at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in The Hague and received a Master degree from Columbia University/New York 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 Course for New Music. 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 was a guest of the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program.

Beyer, Theresa (Jury Kranichstein Music Prize)

Born 1986 in Leipzig. Theresa Beyer has studied musicology in Bern, Switzerland and works as a music journalist and editor with Swiss Public Radio SRF 2 Kultur. She covers topics such as contemporary music, digital culture and electronic music between pop and avant-garde for one-hour programmes (a.o. „Musik unserer Zeit“, „Kontext“) and for shorter daily formats. Since 2011, Theresa Beyer is core team member of the international music research network Norient. Together with Thomas Burkhalter and Hannes Liechti she runs, publishes books about underground music worldwide, curates exhibitions and concert series and organizes the Norient Music Film Festival in Bern, St. Gallen and Lausanne. In 2016, she received the Reinhard-Schulz-Prize for Contemporary Music Journalism, awarded by the International Music Institute Darmstadt (IMD).

Theresa Beyer 2016 in Darmstadt

Veale, Peter (Jury Kranichstein Music Prize)

Peter Veale, born in New Zealand, grew up in a family of musicians in Australia. He studied oboe with Heinz Holliger and conducting with Francis Travis in Freiburg/Germany. He has been a member of Ensemble Musikfabrik since 1994, and performs worldwide as a soloist. He is author of the book The Techniques of Oboe Playing, which was published in 1994 by Bärenreiter. Veale has been teaching oboe at Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts since 1996 and since 2013 at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz in Cologne and for more than 20 years at the Summer Course for New Music in Darmstadt.
Along with various education programs, which he developed and realised with and for Ensemble Musikfabrik, he has been the artistic director of Studio Musikfabrik, the youth ensemble for contemporary music of the Landesmusikrat NRW (North-Rhein-Westfalia) since 2012.

Peter Veale, Ensemble musikFabrik, Foto: Klaus Rudolf