Tuesday, February 28, 2012: The Winners Are …

Berg Orchestra, NuBerg Award

A lively public discussion with the NuBerg candidates proves new music is popular for listeners of all ages.

And the Winners Are …

The votes are in and tallied, and the winner is … new music! The contest for the Berg Orchestra’s annual NuBerg Award for new music is growing in popularity, garnering an 80% increase in votes over last year, according to Eva Kesslová, spokesperson for the Orchestra.

The winning compositions in this, the fifth year, are Blue – Innocent and Fragile by Ondřej Štochl, and music to accompany the silent film A Child of the Ghetto by Jan Dušek.

Mr Štochl was awarded the main, juried prize of 10,000 crowns, and Mr Dušek won the 5,000-crown award voted by members of the public. The other composers and their works were: Roman Pallas, Welcome Waltz; Jan Trojan, Dinner at the End of the World; Michal Nejtek, Heart in Darkness; and Jana Vöröšová, 4 Haiku.

The two winners will be recognized at a concert Mar 5, where they will perform their works.

Getting the Word into the Schools

Interestingly, the online voting was split nearly evenly between music fans over and under age 35. For the second time, Mrs Kesslová tells Opus Osm, the orchestra held their “NuBerg into Schools” program. Teachers were offered a list of suggested activities, games, and interesting facts to help them introduce new music in their classes.

Mrs Kesslová notes, “626 valid votes came from those sessions, together with almost 100 essays, reviews, or evaluations of new music by the kids. This reading is really great!”

Public voting was held Jan 1 – Feb 12, and this year participants could register their choices online, on paper, or at three interactive voting places, the Municipal Library of Prague, Archa Theatre, and The New Stage. At the vote stations, visitors could hear all six complete works and see a small photo exhibition featuring the composers.

The Berg Orchestra’s new season begins with the Mar 5 concert, and includes seven new commissions for young Czech composers and nine Czech premieres. — 00

– Mary Matz

Note: Click on this date, Nov 2 to read Opus Osm’sprevious article about Child of the Ghetto
Click on this date, Dec 8 to read our previous article about Blue: Innocent and Fragile

The Berg Orchestra’s new season opens with the concert Mar 5 at 7:30 pm at the Lichtenstein Palace.

Photo Credits: Eva Kesslová

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