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O/Modernt Composition Award

4th edition

in collaboration with Festival Internacional de Música de Marvão (Portugal), Rusk Chamber Music in Jakobstad (Finland) and Fondazione Entroterre (Italy)

Inventing the Past

Since time immemorial the past has been a source of inspiration for artists working in every creative field. O/Modernt (translated as ‘Un/Modern’) is the concept devised by the violinist Hugo Ticciati that celebrates this ‘looking back’, using imaginative programming to explore vital connections between old and new. O/Modernt embraces the world of contemporary music, collaborating with composers at different stages in their careers from all over the world.

In total, O/Modernt has commissioned more than 40 works over the last decade, ranging from short solo works to fully fledged cantatas and symphonic music. O/Modernt is delighted to announce its annual Composition Award (2023), staged in collaboration with Festival Internacional de Música de Marvão (Portugal), Rusk Chamber Music in Jakobstad (Finland) and Fondazione Entroterre (Italy). The winning composition will be premiered in 2023 in Sweden, and in Portugal, Italy and Finland in 2023/2024.

BRAHMS
Inventing the Past

In a celebrated call to arms, Schumann singled out Brahms as a young composer who was capable of opening up New Paths in nineteenth-century music. Brahms rose to the challenge by doing something that we continuously strive to do at O/Modernt. He reinvented the past. Drawing on his fascination for early music, he reconfigured traditional materials, incorporating them into expressively powerful new wholes that are suffused with personal feeling and contemporary urgency.

O/Modernt invites submissions for our 2023 Composition Award that invoke the spirit of Brahms by looking backwards and forwards, to the past and to the future. The theme can be freely interpreted to reflect the composer’s own interests and concerns.

Application deadline: 23:59 CEST on 31 March 2023 (applicants to register electronically via MUVAC)

Win €4,000 and attend premiere performances of your composition in Sweden, Italy, Portugal and Finland
Jill Jarman chair of the jury
composer
Jill Jarman
Jill Jarman
chair of the jury
composer

A composer and jazz pianist, Jill Jarman's music reflects diverse genres, effortlessly merging the boundaries between classical and jazz. "...Art music with jazz waywardness" [Swedish dagbladet]. A fascination with music from different cultures blur these boundaries further, and can be heard in works such as Echoes from the birdcage, an ensemble piece with percussionist Evelyn Glennie showing aspects from the multi-cultural sound world of London's Kings Cross.

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​Ondřej Adámek composer and conductor
​Ondřej Adámek
​Ondřej Adámek
composer and conductor

Ondřej Adámek was born in 1979 in Prague. He has received commissions for orchestral, choir, ensemble, and vocal works, as well as music for instruments and electronics from prestigious ensembles, orchestras and festivals of contemporary music in Europe, such as Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra with Mezzo-Soprano Magdalena Kozena, Isabelle Faust and Sinfonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunk, Deutsches Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Klangforum Wien, Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra, Diotima string quartet, Ensemble Orchestral Contemporain, Agora festival, Donaueschingen festival, Witten festival, Warsaw Automn, Les Musiques festival – Marseille.

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Alasdair Beatson concert pianist
Alasdair Beatson
Alasdair Beatson
concert pianist

Scottish pianist Alasdair Beatson works prolifically as soloist and chamber musician. Performances during 2022 include numerous appearances at Wigmore Hall; as concerto soloist with Royal Northern Sinfonia; in chamber music alongside such colleagues as Alina Ibragimova, Steven Isserlis, Viktoria Mullova, Pieter Wispelwey, and as member of the Nash Ensemble.

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Nicola Campogrande composer and Artistic Director of Festival MITO SettembreMusica
Nicola Campogrande
Nicola Campogrande
composer and Artistic Director of Festival MITO SettembreMusica

Nicola Campogrande, born in Turin, Italy, in 1969, is today regarded as one of the most important Italian composers.
Since 2017 his music is published exclusively by Breitkopf & Härtel.
Artistic director of the MITO SettembreMusica festival, Campogrande is also a host on Italian RAI Radio3 and he produced the TV program “Contrappunti” on the Classica HD Channel. He writes on the cultural pages of the newspaper Il Corriere della sera.
He has been a member of the International Music Commission of the European Choral Association – Europa Cantat, where he’s now Advisor.

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Sebastian Fagerlund composer
Sebastian Fagerlund
Sebastian Fagerlund
composer

Sebastian Fagerlund (b.1972) has established himself as one of the most prominent European composers of his generation.
Important aspects of Fagerlund’s work are his interest in large-scale forms and a profound view of music expressing fundamental questions and existential experiences. Fagerlund was described by BBC Music Magazine as displaying ‘boundless technical resource at the service of a considerable imagination.

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Matthew Peterson composer
Matthew Peterson
Matthew Peterson
composer

A musical adventurer of great breadth and sensitivity, Matthew Peterson composes bravely. Here is seriousness, humor, power, tenderness, wilfulness - the grand and sublime as well as the fragile and delicate. His music has been commissioned and performed around the world by leading ensembles including the Minnesota Orchestra, Swedish Radio Choir, Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center, The St. Olaf Choir, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, and Stockholm Saxophone Quartet.

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Vicky Sayles violinist (Royal Swedish Orchestra, O/Modernt Chamber Orchestra)
Vicky Sayles
Vicky Sayles
violinist (Royal Swedish Orchestra, O/Modernt Chamber Orchestra)

Victoria was a scholar at Royal College of Music, London and graduated a year early with First Class Honors. She is currently associate leader of London Mozart Players and has recently joined Royal Swedish Opera as principle second violin. Victoria has held contracts as guest concertmaster of BBC Scottish Symphony, Bergen Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Santiago Opera (Chile), Swedish Radio Orchestra, Trondheim Symphony Orchestra amongst others. Victoria has been regular guest section leader at Australian Chamber Orchestra (Sydney), Royal Opera House (Covent Garden), London Philharmonic Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra amongst others. Victoria is a qualified teacher and was Director of Music at Bruton School of music for three years where she reintroduced music back into the curriculum in many mainstream schools on the South West of England. Victoria has been invited to write articles for BBC Music Magazine, The Strad Magazine, The Arts Desk, Tatler Magazine amongst others. Victoria enjoys chamber music and has performed with Gary Hoffman, Radovan Vlatkovic, Gerard Causse, Steven Isserlis, Lars Anders Tomte, Lawrence Power, Sasha Zemtsov, Jean Yves-Thibaudet, Ida Haendal and many others. Victoria plays a violin on loan from the Royal Swedish Opera and a Fetique bow on loan from a private sponsor in Sydney.

Raminta Šerkšnytė composer
Raminta Šerkšnytė
Raminta Šerkšnytė
composer

Raminta Šerkšnytė (born in Kaunas, Lithuania) is a composer, pianist (performing her own music), lecturer and associate professor of composition. She is a laureate of the Lithuanian National Prize for Culture and Arts (the highest artistic distinction in Lithuania, 2008), in 2020 she was nominated for a Gramophone Classical Music Award. Her De profundis for string orchestra (1998), composed when she was just twenty-two years of age, is one of the most popular and performed Lithuanian compositions across the world. Maestro Gidon Kremer described De profundis as “the calling card of Baltic music”.

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Benjamin Staern composer
Benjamin Staern
Benjamin Staern
composer

Benjamin Staern (b. 1978) has established himself as one of the leading Scandinavian composers of the younger generation and the music is performed in Scandinavia, Europe, USA, Canada, Russia and Japan. Early musical experiences with studies in cello, piano and percussion in his youth. Studied musicology at Lund University and subsequently composition at the Malmö Academy of Music during 1998-2005 with professors Rolf Martinsson, Hans Gefors, Kent Olofsson and Luca Francesconi.

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​Composition Award 2021
​Composition Award 2021

NATURE and the CITY

Since the dawn of modernism the city has provided music, art and literature with perhaps its most enduring motif. Building on that tradition, the theme for this year’s award is the tension between nature and the city, and the evolving relationship between technology and the natural world.

Nostalgic reflections, a call to arms, a celebration or a lyrical lament: the theme could be freely shaped according to the composer’s own vision.

First prize winner: Paul Saggers ‘Vulpes Vulpes’
Special Distinction: Julieta Szewach ‘Todo Era Vuelo En Nuestra Tierra’

The winning piece by composer Paul Saggers will be premiered at the Manchester International Festival on the 16 of July.

O/Modernt annual Composition Award (2021) was staged in collaboration with Manchester International Festival, Manchester Camerata, specialist music school Lilla Akademien and DUEN – The Danish Youth Ensemble. The winning work has been premiered in 2021 in Manchester and in Sweden and Denmark during the 2021/22 season.

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Composition Award 2020
Composition Award 2020

In 2020 O/Modernt held its second composition award in collaboration with Goethe-Institut Schweden, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and Gehrmans Musikförlag.

To commemorate the double anniversary of the Romanian-born poet Paul Celan (1920–70), applicants were asked to write a work in response to his life and poetry. Celan, a lifelong expatriate who was fluent in six languages, once wrote: ‘the language in which I make my poems [German] has nothing to do with any spoken here or elsewhere.’ Yet, he was imbued with literary culture: his birthplace, Czernowitz, was reputed to have had more bookshops than bakeries. Responding to Celan, applicants were asked particularly to reflect on universal themes of hope and suffering.

The language in which I make my poems has nothing to do with any spoken here or elsewhere.
— Paul Celan

1st prize winners:
Andrea Sordano - Ein Körnchen Sands
Francisco José Andreo Gázquez - Celan Pieces

Composition Award 2019
Composition Award 2019

The inaugural O/Modernt Composition Award asked applicants to take a misreading of Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 ('Eroica') as the starting point for a Piano Quintet.

Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life.
— Ludwig van Beethoven

Frej Wedlund was the first prize winner, with the following comment from the jury:

Frej Wedlund's Piano Quintet is a technically advanced, intensive and intellectually challenging work, which communicates a clear vision and creates its own sound world.

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