Erste Bank Composition Award 2024 for Nina Šenk

The Erste Bank Composition Award 2024 goes to the Slovenian composer Nina Šenk. The premiere of the award-winning work will take place at the Wien Modern Festival on 21.11.2024.

Nina Šenk is a renowned composer of Slovenia's up-and-coming international music scene. At the most important festivals worldwide and in collaboration with leading orchestras and ensembles, she expands the possibilities of the realm of sound and at the same time questions the traditional structures of sound formations. The award-winning composer explores proportions and forms to create a plurality of harmonic colors. Thereby, she invents subtle textures and draws on a precise knowledge of instrumentation and sound design. Klangforum Wien collaborates frequently with Nina Šenk, most recently in the context of the Johann Joseph Fux Opera Competition for Opera Composition (2023) with the world premiere of her opera Canvas.

She receives the Erste Bank Composition Award, which will be presented for the 35th time in 2024, in recognition of her exceptional artistic achievements. The premiere of her award winning piece will take place as part of the Wien Modern festival on 21 November 2024, together with Klangforum Wien.

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Statement of the jury

"Nina Šenk, a representative of Slovenia's vibrant cultural scene and at the same time familiar with all the crucial positions in new music, is characterized by a high degree of virtuosity in her approach to form and musical architecture. Particularly impressive is her ability to think sound in spatial terms and to use it in an extraordinarily colorful way for the greatest possible effect of depth. The composition commission associated with the prize will open up new avenues of inspiration for both the premiering Klangforum Wien and the composer alike. The joint investigation of boundaries, the mutually stimulating prowess of Klangforum and the imagination, the musically conceivable, the compositional fantasy of Nina Šenk will come together in a congenial way."

Statement by the award winner

Nina Šenk on receiving the award: "Being awarded the Erste Bank Composition Award is an incredible honor that touches me deeply. This award is not only a recognition of my work, but also a confirmation of my personal artistic journey over the last 20 years. Working with Klangforum Wien on a new piece allows me to delve into the depths of complex worlds of sound. The extraordinary musicality of the ensemble serves as a tremendous inspiration for me."

Photo: Nina Šenk - (c) Jože Suhadolnik
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About Nina Šenk

Nina Šenk, born in 1982, graduated in composition from the Ljubljana Academy of Music under Pavel Mihelčič. This was followed by further postgraduate studies under the mentorship of Lothar Voigtländer in Dresden and at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich with Matthias Pintscher, where she successfully completed her master's degree in 2008. Her numerous awards include the European Prize for Best Composition at the Young Euro Classic Festival (Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, 2004), the Prešeren Prize, the highest distinction of the Slovenian state for outstanding artistic achievements, and most recently the Johann Joseph Fux Opera Composition Competition of the Province of Styria (2023).

Her works have been performed at major festivals (BBC Proms, Salzburg Festival, Donaueschinger Musiktage, NY Phil Biennial, Musica Viva Munich, Kasseler Musiktage, Ultraschall Berlin, Takefu Festival, Young Euro Classic, Warsaw Autumn, World Music Days, etc.) and are performed by leading orchestras and ensembles (Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Ensemble Modern, Klangforum Wien, Ensemble Musikfabrik, Scharoun Ensemble, Ensemble Mosaik, London Sinfonietta, Slowind Wind Quintet, Ensemble Aleph, etc.).

Nina Šenk has been an associate member of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts since June 2019.

Further information can also be found on the laureate's website:

The Erste Bank Composition Award

The Erste Bank Composition Award has established itself as one of the most important awards in the field of new music. Since 1989, Erste Bank has awarded an annual composition prize to outstanding composers in recognition of their work to date and who represent a variety of aesthetic positions. The Erste Bank Composition Award includes at least three performances by Klangforum Wien. The world premiere usually takes place at Wien Modern festival. In addition, the Erste Bank Composition Award supports the release of the new work and a portrait on a contemporary recording medium. The prizewinners are selected by a jury consisting of Gerd Kühr (composer), Christian Scheib (ORF, musikprotokoll) and Peter Paul Kainrath (artistic director Klangforum Wien).

Laureate concert and world premiere at Wien Modern festival on 21.11.2024.

The Erste Bank Composition Award, Klangforum Wien and Wien Modern are supported as part of the Erste Bank sponsoring programme - Vermehrt Schönes!