Composer Yannis Kyriakides receives the Johan Wagenaar Prize 2020

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On the recommendation of the Johan Wagenaar Foundation, the municipality of The Hague awards the Johan Wagenaar Prize 2020 to composer Yannis Kyriakides. This composition prize is awarded once every four years for an entire oeuvre and is unique in the Netherlands…   

Earlier laureates included Martijn Padding (2016), Guus Janssen (2012) and Louis Andriessen (2008). Kyriakides will receive the Johan Wagenaar Prize from the Municipality of The Hague during Festival Dag in the Branding on Saturday 12 December 2020. On different locations in The Hague ensemble Maze and Silbersee will play works by Kyriakides.

Johan Wagenaar Prize

The Johan Wagenaar Prize is one of the composition prizes of the Municipality of The Hague, curated by the Johan Wagenaar Foundation (JWS). The prize is awarded once every four years for an entire oeuvre and is in that sense unique in the Netherlands. This prize consists of a cash prize of  €25.000 and the performance of works from the oeuvre of the winning composer. Robert van Asten, Alderman for Mobility and Culture of the Municipality of The Hague: “We stimulate a strong and healthy cultural sector and help artists and performers at all levels to grow further.”

From the jury report:

This time the jury consisted of Masa Spaan, Calliope Tsoupaki, Guus Janssen, Saskia Lankhoorn, Joseph Puglia, Diamanda Dramm, Joep Stapel and Pieter van Loenen. In their jury report they praised Yannis Kyriakides:
“Kyriakides dares to question himself in every work he writes. His oeuvre bears witness to an inquisitive spirit that has never lost its playfulness. Methodically and steadily he works on a large oeuvre of high quality, which is characterized by the wealth of ideas and the unnatural application of electronics and extra-musical elements”.

Yannis Kyriakides

Yannis Kyriakides (Cyprus, 1969) is a Dutch composer of contemporary music. In his music he often combines conventional musical instruments with electronics and digital media. Kyriakides studied at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague with Louis Andriessen and Dick Raaijmakers. In 2000 he won the Gaudeamus Prize for his composition a conSPIracy cantata (1999).

Kyriakides is commissioned by and for various ensembles and orchestras. From 2005 Kyriakides is the artistic director of the Maarten Altena Ensemble, together with Ronald Spekle, which they renamed ensemble MAE. In 2011 his CD Antichambers in Paris received a Qwartz Electronic and New Music Award in the category Experiment and Research. That year he also received the Buma Toonzettersprijs for Best New Dutch Composition in 2010 for his work Paramyth for violin, clarinet, piano and computer. In the same year he also received the Willem Pijper Prize from the municipality of The Hague for his work Dreams of the Blind.

As a teacher at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague Kyriakides has had a great influence on a new generation of composers.

In the oeuvre of Kyriakides, organic development can be seen which shows a deep reflection on the nature of his music. Kyriakides is a multi-faceted composer, he has written for various line-ups from solo to orchestra and from dance to audiovisual installations – and in everything you can see a clear form of his own that makes his work very recognizable. Kyriakides is a very crafty and intelligent artist who knows how to combine this skill with the wonder and creativity of an open mind.

Johan Wagenaar Foundation

The Johan Wagenaar Foundation was founded by the Municipality of The Hague in 1947, and its main objective is to stimulate and promote new and contemporary music. Awarding and presenting the municipal music prizes are among its main activities. The foundation is also the driving force behind Dag in de Branding, the festival for new music that takes place four times a year in The Hague.