6 February 2017

2017 Busoni Composition Prize Winner Benjamin Scheuer
Sponsorship Award for Óscar Escudero

The 2017 Busoni Composition Prize, endowed with prize money of € 6,000, has been awarded to the German composer Benjamin Scheuerer. The jury, comprising Hanspeter Kyburz, Enno Poppe and Cornelius Schwehr, all members of the music section, also named Spanish composer Óscar Escudero as the winner of the 2017 sponsorship award (Förderpreis) of € 2,500.

Benjamin Scheuer’s music primarily addresses direct sensory experience and elements of humour. Constantly driven by his delight in playing music, he is fascinated by the search for unusual sounds, integrating “found sounds” from everyday life into his pieces or including the sources of such sounds on stage in performances. His works are informed by his “live electric” method of creating electronic sounds using the simplest and cheapest possible means. Such an approach reflects one main focus of his work, which is not on technology per se, but on human individuality and fallibility.

Benjamin Scheuer, born 1987 in Hamburg, lives and works as a freelance composer in Hamburg. He studied in Hamburg and Karlsruhe, and most recently with Wolfgang Rihm. His works, played by renowned ensembles in many different countries, include Zeitraum (2012) performed with 600 musicians in the Hanover football stadium, and the Notfallkonzerte from 2012–2014, which he regards as a contribution to saving the world with contemporary music. As a founding member of “musicians without borders”, he regularly travels to Ecuador where he teaches music to disadvantaged young people.

Óscar Escudero, born in Alcázar de San Juan (Spain) in 1992, now lives and works in Madrid. He studied composition and oboe at the Conservatorio Superior de Música de Aragón in Saragossa. After graduating, he studied with Simon Steen-Andersen and Niels Rønsholdt at the Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus, Denmark. The spectrum of his work is also influenced by such composers as Michael Beil, Stefan Prins or Carola Bauckholt, inhabiting the environment that Y Generation considers as native: a hybrid world where technology has blurred the analogue concepts of "body", "time" or "stage". In Madrid, Óscar Escudero was awarded a scholarship for the Residencia de Estudiantes cultural centre where avant-garde artists and scholars from Spain and abroad live, debate and cooperate in a broad series of exhibitions, conferences and events.

The Busoni Composition Prize was donated by Aribert Reimann in 1988 and is awarded every two to three years to young composers not yet known to the public. In 2015, when the last prize was awarded, the laureates were Ashley Fure and Bnaya Halperin-Kaddari. Through this prize, the Akademie der Künste promotes young composers. The additional prize of € 2,500, awarded since 1992, is specifically designed as a sponsorship award for composers who are still studying.

This year’s award ceremony will be held on 24 November 2017 at 7 pm in the Akademie der Künste at Pariser Platz.