In 2007, the ZKM | Institute for Music and Acoustics and the SWR EXPERIMENTALSTUDIO inaugurated the annual Giga-Hertz-Award for electronic music. The Giga-Hertz-Award aims at composers working in the fields of electronic and acousmatic music. With a total prize money of 94.000 € the Giga-Hertz-Award for electronic music and – for the first time – sound art is one of the most highly endowed awards of the genre. A Grand Prize and four Special Prizes are awarded once a year by an international jury.
For the first time awards will also be given in the category “Sound Art – Sound as medium of visual arts”. Next to a Grand Prize for lifetime achievement endowed with 15.000 €, up to four Special Prizes worth 8.000 € each will be awarded. Honored will be works that break up the time limitation and linear structure of music and complement the tonal with visual and spatial elements, e.g. a sound installation, a sound sculpture etc.
The four internationally oriented Special Prizes of 8.000 € aim to initiate and support new projects, and are geared to composers of electronic and acousmatic music.
In 2013 again innovative ideas within the field of electronic and acousmatic music will be honored. The application takes place im two steps:
A reference piece not older than five years and not longer than 20 minutes should be submitted. This work forms the basis of the valuation for the jury and should clearly make use of electronic, technical means. It also should be ensured that such a piece could be performed without much technical effort. For the work that is to be realized, it is desirable to submit a project design.
Some of the reference pieces of the awardees will be presented during the IMATRONIC Festival in November 2013. The new compositions and works will be presented for the first time within the framework of the IMATRONIC Festival to be held at the ZKM in the autumn of 2014. Any further information on how to apply can be found under “application”.
The Grand Prize of 15.000 € honors the artistic achievements of outstanding composers and is not awarded as part of a public competition but, selected by jury nomination.
The Giga-Hertz-Award is granted in honor of the world-famous physicist Heinrich Hertz (1857–1894), who taught at the Karlsruhe technical university where he discovered electromagnetic waves at the end of the nineteenth century.
The award for electronic and acousmatic composition is unique in Germany and underlines the importance of electronic music: the award is supported by the most important German studios for electronic music: the SWR EXPERIMENTALSTUDIO in Freiburg and the ZKM | Institute for Music and Acoustics (IMA) in Karlsruhe. The Giga-Hertz-Award for Sound Art is an initiative of the ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie.