Prize winners

The prize winners are Martin Hiendl (D) and Matthew Shlomowitz (AUS) 

Regional Minister of Culture Dr. Christian Buchmann and Rector Elisabeth Freismuth have pleasure in announcing the prize winners selected by the jury from a total of six finalists. Martin Hiendl from Germany impressed all with his composition "Paradise", likewise Matthew Shlomowitz from Australia but resident in Great Britain with "Opera TV" (working title).
Twenty nine young composers from various European countries were invited to participate and seventeen accepted. Six finalists were obliged to prepare a concept for a one-act performance lasting around an hour. In connection with the prize, a commission for composition has now been conferred on Hiendl and Shlomowitz, with the premiere performance of the two operatic pieces planned for autumn 2016 and autumn 2017 at "musikprotokoll" events during steirischer herbst.

"I offer heartfelt congratulations ot Martin Hiendl and Matthew Shlomowitz on winning the Johann-Joseph-Fux opera composition prize. The competition is an important encouragement for young composers by means of which we want to support the creation of new musical works of the highest quality", said Dr. Christian Buchmann, Reginal Minister of Culture.

"Through the Johann-Joseph-Fux competition for opera composition 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 run, here at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz, a competition 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 connection with 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 inquisitive public audience. I congratulate the prize winners of the Johann-Joseph-Fux competition, Martin Hiendl and Matthew Shlomowitz, and 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, hins unconventional multi-media concept promises "great theatrical effect" and it would appear to have the potential to open up great realms of association for listeners.

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 artful irony, "Opera TV" thwarts the banality of TV soap opera.

Regarding the competition

Organised by the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz, the Johann-Joseph-Fux competition for opera composition was brought into being in 1998 as a reginal cultural prize, in recognition of the transformation of the former Academy of Music and Performing Arts into a university.

As a general rule, the competition takes place every three years. In 2011, in collaboration with the Styrian ministry of culture, a revised concept gave rise to the current format of the competition.