Giga-Hertz-Award 2011 – Walter-Fink Prize of the ZKM
Web banner IMATRONIC 2011 at ZKM | Karlsruhe
Sat, November 26, 2011 5 pm CET, Award Ceremony

ZKM, together with the SWR broadcasting network’s EXPERIMENTALSTUDIO, will award the fifth Giga Hertz prize for electronic and acousmatic music.

The Giga-Hertz Prize is directed at composers with works in the area of electronic and acousmatic music. The international jury of experts concisting of Peter Weibel (Director, ZKM | Karlsruhe), Ludger Brümmer (Chair, ZKM | Institute for Music and Acoustics), Detlef Heusinger (Chair, EXPERIMENTALSTUDIO des SWR), Björn Gottstein (Journalist, Chair, INM Berlin e.V.) and Rainer Pöllmann (Deutschlandradio Kultur) gives an annual prize for a great work plus four production prizes. Pierre Boulez will be awarded the Giga-Hertz Main Prize for his influential work. The jury, comprised of Peter Weibel (Director of ZKM | Karlsruhe), Ludger Brümmer (Chair, ZKM | Institute for Music and Acoustics), Detlef Heusinger (Chair, EXPERIMENTALSTUDIO des SWR), Björn Gottstein (Journalist, Chair, INM Berlin e.V.), Rainer Pöllmann (music scholar and journalist) especially recognizes the pioneering work that Boulez has accomplished in the métier of electronic music. In honor of Boulez, this evening will feature performances of three of his compositions which reflect the diversity of his creative oeuvre: a purely instrumental work; an instrumental work with live electronics and an acousmatic composition.

The Giga-Hertz Production Prize goes to Argentine composer Horacio Vaggione. Vaggione lives in Paris, is music professor at Université de Paris-VIII, and also heads the doctoral program for music and technology. Through this distinction, the composer is given the opportunity to dedicate himself at ZKM to composing. Due to the great talent, especially among the younger generation of composers, the jury this year has decided to award more prizes than usual, and thus to offer more extensive support to emerging artists. The Giga-Hertz Supporting Prizes go to: Aaron Einbond (USA), Madjid Tahriri (Iran), Anthony Tan (Canada), Eric Lyon (USA), Benedikt Schiefer (Germany) and Andrea Vigani (Italy).

Walter-Fink Prize of ZKM

In 2011, the Walter-Fink Prize for Dance, Electronic Music, and Media will be awarded. The Production Prize for the technically innovative combination of choreography and sound and is directed towards teams comprising composers, choreographers, dancers, and set designers.

Innovation has often resulted from the combination of sound gestures and physical movement. Dance and contemporary music have been prominent examples of innovation, at least since Igor Strawinsky’s »Sacre« or John Cage’s works for the »Merce Cunningham Dance Company«. Yet, how can the relationship between dance and contemporary music be redefined in light of interactive media of the twenty-first century? This question is being addressed by music patron Walter Fink, who founded the Walter-Fink Prize for Dance, Electronic Music, and Media of ZKM | Institute for Music and Acoustics (IMA). Electronic and electroacoustic music, new media, and dance thus enter a symbiosis and foster an accord between creative movement and advanced sound production and performance technology. Within this organization, the body becomes the creative element that, through its choreography, recreates and drives the artwork in the act of performance.
This year’s Walter Fink Prize for Electroacoustic Music, Dance, and Media goes to the Canadian duo Mireille Leblanc and Åke Parmerud.

The 2011 jury comprises: Ludger Brümmer (Chair ZKM | Institute for Music and Acoustics), Walter Fink (music patron), Achim Heidenreich (Chair, musiktheater intégrale | Hochschule für Gestaltung / University of Arts and Design Karlsruhe) and Thomas Neuhaus (Institute for Computer Music and Electronic Media, Folkwang Universität der Künste Essen).

The awards ceremony, with renowned presenters from the fields of art and politics, is surrounded with excellent concerts. The prelude event heads off the afternoon with EXPERIMENTALSTUDIO des SWR’s live electronic works by Detlef Heusinger, André Richard and Marc André, followed by the awards ceremony and concerts by this year’s prize winners. The closing event premiers the exciting new work by the interactive dance-music-performance by the Walter-Fink prize winner of 2010, Pipo Tafel and Daniel Berwanger in the Foyer of ZKM. Subsequently, the Giga-Hertz Prize Winners of 2010 will be presented on the 47-channel surround sound system »Klangdom« at the ZKM_Cube by Robert Normandeau of Canada and composer Orestis Karamanlis of Greece.


Poster IMATRONIC 2011 at ZKM | Karlsruhe

Main Award Winner 2011 | Pierre Boulez (France)

The Giga-Hertz jury decided to honor Pierre Boulez for his services to electroacoustic music as a composer, but also as a political activist. After all, the founding of IRCAM and the successful work of this institution over decades is due to him. Boulez showed with his commitment that he wanted to take responsibility for the visions of his time. On the one hand as a political driving force, as a manager, but then also as a visionary of technical possibilities, without which music could not develop. Although he also repeatedly found his way back to the acoustic roots of his compositional work, but also to conducting, he set milestones in electroacoustic music with his works. His orchestral work »Répons« should be mentioned here, for which the vision of digital real-time control was developed and realized with the legendary four-computer system. On the one hand, he defined a »state of the art« technically, and on the other hand, musically, a universally valid work far beyond its technical expiration date. Other works worth mentioning include »explosante fixe« [1991] for flute, live electronics and ensemble, which he realized at the SWR Experimentalstudio, and »Anthèmes II« [1997] for violin or viola and live electronics, which will be performed at the award ceremony. / Boulez embodies a modern composer active in many fields, who has succeeded in achieving excellence in all aspects of his work. As a conductor or as a composer of acoustic instrumental works, he has made contemporary history and received a number of significant awards. With 26 Grammys, the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize, the Polar Music Prize, the Golden Medal of Honor of Baden-Baden and numerous other honors, he surpasses even the megastars of popular music. With the Giga-Hertz-Prize the jury honors his merits in the field of electro-acoustic music and also acknowledges his excellence in this field.

– Author: Ludger Brümmer

Pierre Boulez

Portrait of the award winner Pierre Boulez

Production Prize Winners 2011


at the ZKM_Media Theater
5 p.m.

Concert by the EXPERIMENTALSTUDIO of the SWR

 André Richard»Glidif«
for contrabass clarinet, two contrabasses and live electronics (1989-91)
 João Pedro Oliveira»Angel Rock«
for bass clarinet, drums and live electronics (2010)
 Detlef Heusinger»Abraum II«
(new arrangements) for violin, violoncello, piano and live electronics (2010)
  Live electronic realisation: EXPERIMENTALSTUDIO of the SWR
Klangregie: Thomas Hummel, André Richard, Detlef Heusinger, Joachim Haas, Simon Spillner
Conductor: Detlef Heusinger
Collegium Novum Zurich
violin: Urs Walker
cello: Imke Frank
contrabass: Johannes Nied, Käthi Steuri
(contra-)bassclarinet: Elmar Schmid
piano: Simone Keller
marimba: Martin Lorenz
at the ZKM_Foyer
7 p.m.
Walter-Fink Prize for dance, electroacoustic music and media
 prize winnerMireille Leblanc and Åke Parmerud

Giga-Hertz Prize for Electronic Music 2011

 Supporting Prizes 2011Eric Lyon, Andrea Vigani, Benedikt Schiefer, Anthony Tan, Aaron Einbond, Madjid Tahriri
 Production Prize 2011Horacio Vaggione
 Prize 2011Pierre Boulez
ZKM_Media Theater
8.45 p.m.
Concert with the EXPERIMENTALSTUDIO of the SWR
 Pierre Boulez»Anthèmes I« for violin
 Mark Andre»...hoc...« for violoncello and live electronic music (2006)
 Pierre Boulez»Anthèmes II« for violin and live electronic music
  violin: Michael Barenboim
violoncello: Imke Frank (Collegium Novum Zurich)
Live electronic realisation: EXPERIMENTALSTUDIO of the SWR
9.30 p.m.
Walter-Fink Prize Winner 2010
 Daniel Berwanger and Pipo Tafel
with Iain McCurdy
»One Three Two (133)« Composition for solo-dance, camera, live-electronics [UA, 2011]
Concert with New Productions by the Prize Winners 2010
 Robert Normandeau»Le Part des  Anges« [The Angels’ Share] (UA, 2011)
 Orestis Karamanlis»Toys« for 24-kanal fixed media (UA, 2011)
 Horacio Vaggione
[Produktionspreis 2011]
»Points Critiques« (2011)
ZKM_Music Balcony
Reception and Dinner


Imatronic (Giga-Hertz Award) 2011


Ludger Brümmer (Composer, Head of ZKM | Hertz-Lab)
Björn Gottstein (Musicologist and Music Journalist)
Detlef Heusinger (Artistic Director of SWR Experimentalstudio)
Rainer Pöllmann (Musicologist and music editor at Deutschlandfunk Kultur, Head of Ultraschall Festival Berlin)
Peter Weibel (Artistic Director of ZKM | Karlsruhe)

Organization / Institution

Schweizer Kulturstiftung »Pro Helvetia«