Giga-Hertz Award 2016
Gigaherzpreis 2016
Thu, November 24, 2016 – Sun, November 27, 2016, Festival

Between 24 and 27 November 2016, this year’s Giga-Hertz Award Festival will be taking place at ZKM | Karlsruhe. The Award for Electronic Music has been awarded by the SWR Experimentalstudio and ZKM | Karlsruhe since 2007. Renowned representatives from the international music and art scene together with the artists and composers who have been honoured this year are once again expected at the ceremony.

On two evenings of concerts on 24 and 25 November, you will be able to hear and view the results of the Production Awards from last year as well as the award-winning pieces from this year’s winners. The festive award ceremony will then take place on the evening of 26 November in the presence of all prize-winners. This year, the weekend of the 26 and 27 November is influenced completely by the main award-winner Curtis Roads: As well as an exclusive concert, the award-winner’s life’s work will be presented in the form of lectures, talks and a reading.

The Giga-Hertz Award is dedicated to the world-famous physicist Heinrich Hertz (1857–1894); he taught at the Technical University of Karlsruhe (now known as the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology) at the end of the 19th century and discovered electromagnetic waves there. The objective of the award is to promote electronic music and to provide an impetus through new tonal and compositional possibilities. 

Poster Giga-Hertz Award 2016 at ZKM | Karlsruhe

Main Award Winner 2016 | Curtis Roads (USA)

Curtis Roads has been a leading figure in computer music since the 1970s as a composer, writer, and researcher. His artistic output traces the history of the field, with each work reflecting the technologies of the time, from offline composition on mainframe computers in »nscor« (1980), to mixtures of digital sound with ancient instruments, to combinations of sound and image »Point Line Cloud« (2005), to compositions using granular and pulsar analysis/synthesis, »Epicurus« (2010). He has maintained a singular aesthetic throughout, to explore the microscopic structures of sound. The pioneering nature of this vision has been confirmed with the explosion of electronic music in popular culture, where Roads has been sought out as a mentor by musicians like Russell Haswell, and performed in concerts with groups like Autechre. Roads has theorized his work and that of the broader field as editor of the Computer Music Journal (1978-2000) and as author of an influential series of books including »The Computer Music Tutorial« (1996), and »Microsound« (2001). He has carried out his work in the important studios of the world, including MIT, IRCAM, Les Ateliers UPIC, and CREATE Santa Barbara. The Giga-Hertz lifetime achievement award recognizes the foundational contributions Curtis Roads has made to the history of computer music.

– Author: Atau Tanaka

Curtis Roads

Curtis Roads

Production Prize Winners 2016

for »ARCANE II« (2014), for 4 recorder, 5 Paetzold recorder with live electronics controlled with sensors

for »Me Du Ça« (2016), for soprano and live electronics

Honorary Mention

for »The Fuck Facebook Orchestra« (2015), for 4 perfomers, 4 computers, 4 Kinects abd 4 video projectors


Giga-Hertz Award 2016


Ludger Brümmer (Composer, Head of ZKM | Hertz-Lab)
Björn Gottstein (SWR2 editor for New Music and artistic director of the Donaueschinger Musiktage)
Detlef Heusinger (Artistic Director of the SWR Experimentalstudio)
Atau Tanaka (Professor at Goldsmiths University London)
Peter Weibel (Artistic Director of ZKM | Karlsruhe)