Discover and promote the new generations
creating contemporary music
Location : Utrecht (Netherlands) - TivoliVredenburg
Organized by: Gaudeamus
Gaudeamus Award, New Music, Young Composers, Young Music Pioneers

In 1957 the very first Gaudeamus Award was awarded to a promising young composer, the 22-year-old Peter Schat. Since then professional juries have annually selected compositions, chosen from hundreds of submissions and nominated these works for the Gaudeamus Award. Only five composers younger than 30 years will be eligible for the Award. Winning the Gaudeamus Award is seen as an international recognition of a young composer and his work and an important springboard into their career.

Registration for the Gaudeamus Award 2018 is open now! The deadline for registration is 1 October 2017. If you would like to apply for the Gaudeamus Award 2018, please read the setup and terms & conditions on our website.



A maximum of five composers can be nominated for the Gaudeamus Award. From all nominated composers the main entry (category piece) will be shortlisted for the competition, but the other two pieces by the selected composers will also be performed during the festival. This provides the nominees with an opportunity to demonstrate other aspects of their talents instead of being judged solely on the basis of a single work. More than ever before, Gaudeamus Muziekweek is a showcase where audiences and (international) professionals in the field can get an in-depth overview of the nominees’ work. Being shortlisted for the Gaudeamus Award means that your work will not just be performed once during the festival, but will be performed at other festivals and by other ensembles worldwide.


This is what we ask from participating composers:

- To consider which work best represents your current style and really measures up to the status of the Gaudeamus Award. In order to optimize the involvement of the ensembles, submissions will now be limited to certain categories, as specified under “Categories/ Ensembles.”

- To consider which other two works give a good overview of your activities. The instrumentation is free (up to 15 instruments, electronics, video, etc.).



The jury for the Gaudeamus Award 2018 consists of Nicole Lizee, Richard Ayres and Pierluigi Billone. Representatives from the ensembles involved in the festival will also participate in the selection process.

The jury will select a maximum of 5 composers for performances during the festival. We will try to program 2 proposed works. Finally we ask the selected composers to make a new work for the ensemble-in-residence; that work will also be programmed during the festival. In 2017 there will be two ensembles in residence: Nikel Ensemble and Slagwerk Den Haag.


Nikel Ensemble

Nikel Ensemble is a quartet consisting of saxophone, electric guitar, percussion and piano. These instruments, mostly evolving in the 20th century were joined together to form a new chamber music output where electric and acoustic sounds are to be melted into a unified organism bridging between, not only different sources of mechanical waves, but also aesthetic prejudice and dichotomies of musical genres. * duration between 8 and 12 minutes


Slagwerk Den Haag (Percussion The Hague)

Each of the five nominated composers will be invited to write a new piece for Slagwerk Den Haag within the thematic context “controllers” (in the broadest sense of the word). To challenge the composers, several game rules have been established. The new piece has to:

* be electro-acoustic with a duration between 8 and 12 minutes

* consist of min. 2 and max. 4 percussionists

* use only live amplification/processing/triggering (no tapes with clicktrack)

* enable the percussionists to control/manipulate/adapt the acoustic material live on stage (no external controller)

Slagwerk Den Haag will work intensively with the composers to help them elaborate their ideas. Each composer will have a budget at their disposal to develop “new” percussion instruments and/or sound sources.

Instruments: 2-4 percussionists/performers.


Academy 2018

The Gaudeamus Muziekweek Academy will run from Thursday 30 August through Wednesday 5 September 2018 followed by the Gaudeamus Muziekweek from 5 through 9 September 2018. During the Gaudeamus Muziekweek Academy, the 5 nominated composers will work with the ensembles and rehearse the selected works. Members of the jury will facilitate discussions between composers and musicians. The Gaudeamus Muziekweek Academy will be devoted to the composers in the interest of research, reflection, and development, but will also feature meetings and workshops open to the general public.


Career Support

After the festival, Gaudeamus will continue to support the nominated composers. Selected works may be performed elsewhere and composers will be regularly involved in festivals and co-productions with other organizations. The intention is to further the career development of young composers.


Registration fee & accommodation

As the nominated composers will derive extra benefit from their participation in the Gaudeamus Muziekweek Academy and several performances of their works during the festival, an extra financial contribution is required once you are shortlisted. The registration fee for the competition is € 35. After you are selected, an extra € 500 is due as a contribution to your accommodation costs (10 days) and participation in the Academy and festival.



lf you have any questions about the registration, please contact us via


About the Gaudeamus Award

The annual Gaudeamus Muziekweek focuses on music by young composers. Although the first Gaudeamus Muziekweek, staged shortly after World War II, was devoted to Dutch composers only, the Muziekweek was soon open to composers worldwide. Each year new works by composers are presented, with emphasis on young composers and music pioneers. The Gaudeamus Award was first awarded in 1957 to Peter Schat. The Gaudeamus Award, as of 2015 a commission of € 5000 for new work, is meant as a help in the career of the composer. This commissioned work will premiere during Gaudeamus Muziekweek. Since 2014 the Muziekweek is preceded by the Gaudeamus Muziekweek Academy. All winners of the Gaudeamus Award are mentioned in the Gaudeamus Hall of Fame

Location : Utrecht (Netherlands) - TivoliVredenburg