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.

 Winners of the European Composer Award  

2000Magnus Lindberg Finland„Cantigas“
2001Stefán Arason
2002Anatolijus Senderovas Lithuania„Konzert in Do“
2003Joachim F. W. Schneider Germany„Sylphidentänze“
2004Nina Šenk Slovenia„Konzert für Violine und Orchester“
2005Ülo Krigul Estonia„Jenzeits“
2006Magnar Åm Norway„‘tisn’t the snow falling, it’s us leaving the ground“
2007Guohui Ye China„Spätherbst für Orchester“
2008Ahmet Altinel Turkey„Le Sources de la Nuit“
2009Niels Klein Germany„Refractions”
2010Archil Giorgobiani Georgia„Azari (Abchasische Begräbnismusik)“
2011Gonzalo Grau Venezuela„AQUA-Skizzen für Knabenstimme, Frauenstimme, Männerstimme, Erzähler und Orchester“
2012Olga ViktorovaRussia„Lux Aeterna“
2013Silvia ColosantiItaly„Responsorium”
2014Aziza SadikovaUzbekistan„Brief Scherben”
2015Sinem AltanGermany/Turkey„Hafriyat – Earthwork"
2016Liisa HirschEstonia„Mechanics of Flying"
2017Mariana VieiraPortugal„Raíz"
2018Agata ZubelPoland„Fireworks“

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. We are delighted to announce that this year, Professor Manolis Vlitakis will act as chairman of the jury. 

European Composer Award 2018

Agata Zubel Wins Award for her Work Fireworks
In 2018 the European Composer Award went to the Polish composer Agata Zubel for her work Fireworks, which was given its German premiere by the European Union Youth Orchestra as part of Young Euro Classic 2018.

The audience jury chaired by Prof. Manolis Vlitakis, a guest professor of composition and instrumentation at Berlin’s University of the Arts, praised Zubel’s work in the laudation: “Agata Zubel composes with great imagination and on a high compositional level, which incidentally also reflects current compositional technique. She unleashes the ‘demonic’ powers of the large orchestra not only with palpable passion, but also with a great accomplishment.”

The Polish composer herself comments on her work: “All I want to do is exclaim, ‘I am happy to be alive and free, here and now!’ […] The music of someone who lives in the present – in a country that regained its freedom a whole hundred years ago – can also carry a humanist message, with all its naturalness and its affections.”

Born in Wroclaw in 1978, Agata Zubel studied singing and composition in her hometown, and has consequently followed this dual path to this day. As a singer, she performs mainly composers of the 20th and 21st century. Her repertoire includes works by Witold Lutosławski and Henryk Gorecki as well as Luigi Nono, Salvatore Sciarrino and Philip Glass. However, Agata Zubel is equally successful as a composer. Her first works created in 1997; in 2007 she composed her String Quartet No. 1 for the Ultraschall Festival in Berlin. This was followed by a multitude by commissions, including Shades of Ice (2011) for the London Sinfonietta, What Is the Word (2012) and Cleopatra’s Songs(2017) for Klangforum Wien, and Double Battery (2016) for the Ensemble Intercontemporain in Paris. Her work Not I for voice, instrumental ensemble and electronics (2010) also won several awards. The same year, Zubel’s one-hour ballet opera Between was premiered at the National Opera in Warsaw.