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.

German Premieres and World Premieres at Young Euro Classic

Kurt SchwertsikViolin Concerto No. 2 Op. 81 “Albayzin and Sacromonte” (2000, German Premiere) Wiener Jeunesse Orchester
Arturs Maskats“Summer Dreams“ for Violin, Mezzosoprano und String Orchestra (2020, German Premiere)O/Modernt New Generation Orchestra
Marcelo Nisinman“Gaia’s Tango“ for Cello, Bandoneon and Strings (2021, German Premiere)O/Modernt New Generation Orchestra
Airat IchmouratovConcerto Grosso No. 3 “Liechtenstein” op. 68 (World Premiere)LGT Young Soloists

European Composer Award

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

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.

European Composer Award 2019

João Godinho wins for his work “Alcance | Reach“.
The 2019 European Composer Award goes to the Portuguese composer João Godinho for his work “Alcance | Reach”, which had its world premiere by the Jovem Orquestra Portuguesa at Young Euro Classic 2019.

The audience jury chaired by Dr. Helge Grünewald praised Godinho’s work in its laudation: “With ‘Alcance | Reach’ – the title refers to ‘reaching’ in multiple meanings – João Godinho pursues a demanding project: to give a musical example of inclusion. A small group of five musicians (one woman and four men) with handicaps are members and interactive partners of the large orchestra. Their parts, which are mainly rhythmical and percussive, contain playful, experimental and improvisational elements. These parts, which add to the composition’s colour, have been notated using a special technique called sound painting. The artistic partners have entered unknown territory; the working process spanned more than a year. The fact alone that a composer undertakes to leave his familiar ‘métier’ behind, confronting new and very different challenges, is courageous and deserves high merit. At the end of the piece, the group of five originates white bands inscribed with text and symbols which are handed through the orchestra and into the audience – a symbol of inclusion and reaching the audience. Not only at its end, the composition can be understood as a stage work, meaning that it wants to be heard and seen. The jury was surprised and impressed, even moved.”

Born in Lisbon in 1976, João Godinho received his first piano lessons at the age of six. Even as a young man, he was particularly interested in composition and improvisation. After graduating from the Escuela Superior de Musica in his hometown, Godinho embarked upon a broad musical career. As a composer, he has written mainly for piano and piano ensembles. In addition, Godinho is intensely involved in traditional Portuguese music, fado, jazz and world music. Since 2008 he has also been the artistic director of the Lisbon Summer Jazz School and the big band Junior, which unites teenagers from 12 to 19 years of age.