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Red plaque with "Giga-Hertz-Award" in white letters

Online application Giga-Hertz Award

Period of Submission: 15.3.2018–31.5.2018

About the Special Prizes

The Giga-Hertz Award comprises a total of two special awards for electronic and acousmatic music. Their goal is to initiate and support new projects. Candidates are judged on the basis of a composition not more than five years old and a proposal for a projected work. The focus of the Special Prizes is to honor a work, and not a person. The competition is advertised publicly each year and is open to composers of all ages.

ZKM | Center for Art and Media Institute for Music and Acoustics
Giga-Hertz Award
Lorenzstraße 19
76135 Karlsruhe

The works submitted can be of diverse combinations and types of style. There are no aesthetic constraints, only functional criteria that relate to content. 

Thus, all compositions submitted should meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Compositions using live electronics 
  • Composition for fixed media
  • Mixed music
  • Concert installation
  • Transmedial composition
  • Experimental sound performance
  • Interdisciplinary performance (with relevant music or sound components)

This year, the topic area of artificial intelligence should be given particular attention in the selection of the working scholarship. In this context, artists should be motivated to apply in particular with musical works which have been realized through the use of artificial neural networks. Alongside this, other works which have been realized with digital or electronic technology can also be submitted.

Prize Money

The Special Prize of 5.000 € consists of a project realization grant with which the award winners realize their submitted exposé at the ZKM | Institute for Music and Acoustics (IMA) in Karlsruhe. This includes technical support and guidance by the studio.

The realization grant covers the costs for travel to and from the location of realization, plus board and accommodation while working there. The scholarship is used to realize a work with electronics in a studio selected by the jury. The decision about where the work will be realized is taken by the jury on the basis of the aesthetic orientation of the composer and the specific details of the submitted project. The working stay should not be less than two months at the ZKM | IMA or two to four weeks at the SWR Experimentalstudio respectively. It is envisaged that the new work will be premiered at the award ceremony of the Giga-Hertz-Award the following year and also broadcast on the radio. However, recipients of the special prizes have no legal entitlement to specific services from the ZKM or the SWR Experimentalstudio or to the performance or radio broadcast of their prize-winning works or the new works resulting from the realization grants.

Entry Details

  • Beginning of the online applications: March 15, 2018
  • Application deadline: May 31, 2018! 

Please read the following information carefully before you enter.

Registration is via online application

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact: gigahertz@zkm.de.


The following are required for your application

  • biography with details of artistic career
  • portrait photograph of the artist 
  • description of the submitted work (work should not be more than five years old), technical information on this work, and optional, the score and image files of the work 
  • project proposal for a new work to be realized at the ZKM | IMA or the SWR Experimentalstudio, and technical information on this work. 

Please note:

  • The deadline for sending in the complete application is May 31, 2018.
  • The work should not be more than five years old; it should not have already received any awards, or been previously submitted for the Giga-Hertz-Award competition.
  • Employees of the organisers, sponsors, prizegivers, and patrons of the Giga-Hertz-Award as well as the members of the jury are excluded from participation.
  • Please apply with only one piece regardless of the category!
  • Please do not send in any originals. Material that is submitted cannot be returned!
  • Incomplete applications will not be accepted.
  • As soon as we have received all necessary documents, entrants will receive an email confirming their participation.
  • In the interest of all participants, the entrant (or a representative chosen by the entrant) should be reachable at the address stated on the application form.
  • The prize winners guarantee that they will be present to receive their awards in person.
  • If a work wins a prize, the material that was submitted will be used in the catalog, on DVD, CD, and/or the Giga-Hertz-Award website. Therefore, we request participants to take great care in preparing the sound, image, and text material.
  • The registered work should clearly make use of electronic/technical means. At least the use of electronic means should be documented.
  • The awardees obligate themselves to realize the works produced within the framework of the award during a residency at the ZKM | IMA or at the SWR Experimentalstudio respectively. The duration of the residency should not fall short of eight weeks at the ZKM or two to four weeks at the SWR Experimentalstudio respectively
  • The project proposal can be modified to match the production resources available at the ZKM | IMA or the SWR Experimentalstudio.

Works that do not comply with the above requirements will be removed from the competition and not presented to the jury!


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