Giga-Hertz Award Open Call 2023

Submission Period May 26 – July 16, 2023 (23:59 Uhr CEST)

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

Submission for the 2023 Giga-Hertz Prize is closed.

Open Call

Production Awards and the PopExperimental Award

The Giga-Hertz Award for electronic music and sound art has been awarded since 2007. With submissions from over 40 countries per call for entries, the award is one of the most prestigious of its kind internationally. This year, the ZKM | Karlsruhe, the SWR Experimentalstudio and the Popakademie Baden-Württemberg are jointly awarding a prize money in the amount of € 25,000.

The main award for renowned composers of electronic music having a lasting impact on the aesthetics and the development of this genre, which is endowed € 10.000, will be determined by suggestions from the jury and is not selected from the applications.

Composers and sound artists can apply for two Giga-Hertz Production Awards (€ 5,000 each) as well as for the PopExperimental Award (€ 5,000) that was established in 2022. Artists having works that fit into both categories are welcome to hand in submissions for both of them.

The award ceremony will take place during the 2nd weekend of December 2023 and is part of the multi-day Giga-Hertz Festival, which invites to concerts around electronics, experiments and pop, DJ sets, artists talks and workshops for all ages.

This year's festival will be called »Radical Polytronics«. The reference to radicality and polyphony reflects ZKM’s role as a laboratory for forward thinking ideas and an emphasis on artists’ committed to wider social change - whilst ‘polytronics‘ not only speaks of the great variety and range within electronic music but also of the urgent need for sustainable technologies describing the future orientation of ZKM under its new directorship led by Alistair Hudson. We open up a new chapter that seeks to even more amplify voices from around the world, in a global ‚inter-local‘ exchange between communities in specific geographies, in contrast to international homogeneity.

We want to represent the diversity in the field of electronic music as entirely as possible. Thus, the competition is open to composers and sound artists of all ages from all people, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, cultural, ethnic and social background. We are looking forward to a high heterogeneity of applicants.



Giga-Hertz Production Awards

The two Giga-Hertz Production Awards, each endowed with € 5.000, serve to initiate and promote new projects and are aimed at sound artists and composers of electronic and electroacoustic music as well as mixed music.

Candidates (soloists or collaborative groups) for the Giga-Hertz Production Awards will be judged on the basis of the artistic quality of one composition not older than five years and a proposal for a completely newly planned and not yet realized work.

All compositions submitted for the Production Awards should meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Composition for live electronics
  • Fixed media composition
  • Mixed music
  • Algorithmic composition
  • Audiovisual composition
  • Transmedia composition
  • Experimental sound performance
  • Live coding
  • Interdisciplinary performance (having relevant electronic music or sound elements)

Financial conditions and terms of production:

The Giga-Hertz Production Award includes a grant with which the winners can realize their submitted project proposal by means of electronics.

The production takes place either at the ZKM | Hertz-Lab in Karlsruhe or at the SWR Experimentalstudio Freiburg. Technical support and assistance from the respective studio are included in the prize money. The choice of studio depends on the composer's aesthetic orientation as well as the specific details of the project to be realized and is determined by the directors of the respective studios.

The production grant covers travel expenses to/from the studio and the world premiere, as well as room and board during the production work. Winners will receive € 1.500 paid out directly as a stipend. Up to € 3.500 can be used for expenses incurred during the production and premiere of the new work including travel costs.

The work stay should last six to eight weeks at the ZKM | Hertz-Lab and about two to four weeks at the SWR Experimentalstudio. The new work should be premiered during the following Giga-Hertz Festival and possibly be broadcasted on the radio or on the internet. However, with regard to the winners of the Giga-Hertz Production Prizes, there is no legal obligation on the part of ZKM | Karlsruhe to provide special services or to broadcast the winning works or the new projects realized with the help of the prize money on the radio or on the internet. The premiere of the new work will take place exclusively within the framework of the Giga-Hertz Festival.

Giga-Hertz PopExperimental Award

The PopExperimental Award, donated by the Fördergesellschaft ZKM / HfG e. V., was established in 2022 and is also endowed with 5.000 €. Beginning from 2023, this price will be awarded in cooperation with the Popakademie Baden-Württemberg. It takes into account the fusion of electronic music with various currents of popular musics and is aimed at artists from the field of experimental electronic pop and club music.

Candidates (soloists or collaborative groups) for the PopExperimental Award will be judged on the basis of three compositions not older than two years. The submitted compositions should adequately represent the artist's musical stylistics.

The PopExperimental Award is not related to a production. The price money will be paid out directly.

Conditions of participation:

  • Start of the online application process: May 26, 2023
  • End of the online application process: July 16, 2023 (23:59 Uhr CEST)

From this year on, the Giga-Hertz Festival and the award ceremony will take place in biennial rotation.

Important information about the application!

The ZKM | Karlsruhe was founded in 1989 by the city of Karlsruhe and the state of Baden-Württemberg with Heinrich Klotz as founding director as a "digital Bauhaus" and developed by Peter Weibel into a globally unique cultural institution. It is a place for the theoretical discourses of philosophy, science, technology, politics and economics from a contemporary artistic perspective. The new director Alistair Hudson defines artistic and curatorial practice as social practice and, with his concept of the useful museum, understands art and cultural institutions as places for social responsibility and change.

The SWR Experimentalstudio Freiburg was founded in 1971 and is internationally regarded as an important place for the development of experimental electronic music. It serves as an interface between compositional idea and technical realization. Every year, several composers are invited to a working fellowship in order to then realize their works in discourse with the studio staff. In addition to the production of these, it is also active as an orchestra in the performances. With 50 years of presence in the international music business, it has established itself as a leading orchestra for works with live electronics and continues to perform at almost all major festivals.

The Popakademie Baden-Württemberg is a state university institution for music business and creative industries with a focus on popular music. It was founded in Mannheim in 2003 and is considered unique within the German higher education landscape due to the combination of economic and artistic aspects of pop culture.