Prize winners of the 6th Johann-Joseph-Fux Opera Composition Competition

The prize winners of the 6th Johann-Joseph-Fux Opera Composition Competition are: Martin Hiendl (D) and Matthew Shlomowitz (AUS).

Christian Buchmann (Provincial Councillor for Culture in the Province of Styria 2015-17) and Elisabeth Freismuth (KUG rector 2014 - 2018) were pleased to announce the prize winners, selected by the jury from a total of six finalists. Martin Hiendl (Germany) convinced the jury with his composition "Paradise"and Matthew Shlomowitz (Australia, resident in Great Britain) with "Opera TV" (working title).

29 young composers from different European countries were invited to participate and 17 have been accepted. Six finalists were asked to prepare a concept for a one-act performance lasting around an hour. In connection with the prize, a commission for composition was conferred on Hiendl and Shlomowitz, with the premiere performance of the two operatic pieces in autumn 2016 and 2017 at "musikprotokoll" events during steirischer herbst.

"I warmly congratulate Martin Hiendl and Matthew Shlomowitz on winning the Johann-Joseph-Fux Opera Composition Prize. The competition is an important promotion for young composers by means of which we want to support the creation of new musical works of the highest quality", said Christian Buchmann.

"Through the Johann-Joseph-Fux Opera Composition Competition of the Federal State of Styria, the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz can give further impetus to the appreciation of our institution as a lively centre and laboratory for new music", said Rector Elisabeth Freismuth. "I am particularly delighted to be able to host a competition ere at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz that encompasses new stylistic idioms and tonal domains in the name of a great baroque composer. This makes visible the breadth demanded here today with regard to both thought and art."

Elke Tschaikner (Radio Ö1/musikprotokoll): "Our collaboration with the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz, in the context of the Johann-Joseph-Fux Competition, is a matter of deep conviction that's very close to our hearts at musikprotokoll, which has always dedicated itself to the music of present and future times. Through observing such young composers and their approach to music theatre, we can discover and encourage them as well as presenting them to an always curious public audience. I congratulate the prizewinners of the Johann-Joseph-Fux Competition, Martin Hiendl and Matthew Shlomowitz, and I am already looking forward to the premiere performances at the musikprotokoll events in 2016 and 2017."

From the jury statement

Martin Hiendl's "Paradise" pursues a search for the natural voice. According to the jury, its unconventional multi-media concept promises "great theatrical effect" and it seems to have the potential to open up great realms of association for the audience.

Matthew Shlomowitz's "Opera TV" (working title) is praised as a work possessing great wit. "Through skilful combination and breaking of available musical elements" the work succeeds in circumventing the trap of clichéd composition. With sophisticated irony, "Opera TV" thwarts the banality of TV soap opera.