A five-member internationally renowned jury will select a total of 6 prizewinning works that are exemplary in terms of the contemporary developments in music theatre. In 2021 jury members are:
DU Yun, Shanghai/China - New York/USA | Composer and Professor of Composition at the Peabody Institute, and Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music
Marlene LE ROUX, Cape Town/South Africa | CEO Artscape Theatre Cape Town and activist
Pamela LOPEZ, Santiago/Chile | Director of Programming and Audiences at the Gabriela Mistral CulturalCenter (GAM)
Paola PRESTINI, New York/USA | Composer & co-founder and artistic director of the Brooklyn based arts institution and incubator, National Sawdust
Rainer SIMON, Berlin/Germany | Artistic Consultant of Barry Kosky (General Manager and Artistic Director of Komische Oper Berlin)
…born and raised in Shanghai, China, and currently based in New York City, works at the intersection of opera, orchestral, theatre, cabaret, musical, oral tradition, public performances, electronics, visual arts, and noise. Her body of work is championed by some of today’s finest performing groups and organizations around the world.
Known for her “relentless originality and unflinching social conscience” (The New Yorker), Du Yun’s second opera, Angel’s Bone (libretto by Royce Vavrek), won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize; in 2018 she was named a Guggenheim Fellow; and in 2019, she was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Classical Composition category for her work Air Glow. As an avid performer and bandleader (Ok Miss), her onstage persona has been described by the New York Times as “an indie pop diva with an avant-garde edge.”
Du Yun is Professor of Composition at the Peabody Institute, and Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music.
A community champion, Du Yun was a founding member of the International Contemporary Ensemble; served as the Artistic Director of MATA Festival (2014-2018); conceived the Pan Asia Sounding Festival (National Sawdust); and founded FutureTradition, a global initiative that illuminates the provenance lineages of folk art and uses these structures to build cross-regional collaborations from the ground up. In 2018, Du Yun was named one of 38 Great Immigrants by the Carnegie Foundation, and in 2019 the Beijing Music Festival named her “Artist of the Year.”
Marlene LE ROUX
As the current Artscape CEO, the largest theatre of Cape Town, her passion is not simply to use Arts and Culture to empower and enable disadvantaged groups but to make a difference in another human being’s life. She is a driven person with a Masters of Philosophy in Disability Studies from UCT and an Honorary Doctorate in Education from CPUT. She completed many tertiary programmes, like the Women in Leadership Programme at the UCT Graduate School of Business. She obtained her Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Education as well as a Higher Diploma in Education at the University of the Western Cape (UWC). She also has a Diploma in Senior Management obtained at the University of Stellenbosch.
Awards include the Fair Saturday Award, awarded in Bilbao, Spain as an advocate for human rights, inclusion and openness throughout her career and the theatre’s commitment to promoting essential values through its diverse and accessible programmes (June 2019); The Commonwealth’s Point of Light Award, In recognition of exceptional service promoting disability rights, signed by Her Majesty The Queen of England (February 2018); Western Cape Provincial Government Awards: Ministerial Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts and Disability (2017 and 2018); The Desmond Tutu Legendary Award (2001) and the Shoprite/Checkers Woman of the Year – Art Category (1998), among a host of others.
Pamela Lopez is a former actress and currently the Director of Programming and Audiences at the Gabriela Mistral Cultural Center (GAM) in Santiago, Chile. She holds a Master's degree in Cultural Management from Columbia University (2011) and a Fulbright Fellowship for postgraduate studies. Miss Lopez is a researcher in performing arts and cultural management serving as a teacher at various universities in the courses of art administration, planning, and audience development. As an advocate for the Chilean theater community, she participates in various organizations, one of them being the Red de Salas (Theatre Network) where she is part of the board. Her blog is www.pamelalopez.cl.
Composer Paola Prestini has collaborated with poets, filmmakers, and scientists in large-scale multimedia works that chart her interest in extra-musical themes ranging from the cosmos to the environment. Her compositions have been commissioned and performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Barbican Centre, Cannes Film Festival, Carnegie Hall, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Kennedy Center, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Los Angeles Opera, among others. She created the largest communal VR opera with The Hubble Cantata, was part of the New York Philharmonic’s legendary Project 19 initiative, and has written and produced large scale projects like the eco-documentary The Colorado narrated by Mark Rylance (premiered and commissioned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Houston Da Camera Series) and the lauded opera theater work Aging Magician (premiered and commissioned by the Walker Arts Center and the Krannert Center, with performances at ASU, the New Victory Theater and San Diego Opera).
Prestini is known for her genre- and glass ceiling-breaking roles, including being the first woman in the New Works Initiative with her grand opera Edward Tulane (Minnesota Opera), and bringing artificial intelligence and disability visibility/impact together in the chamber opera Sensorium Ex (Atlanta Opera and Beth Morrison Projects for the Prototype Festival). Her upcoming works include piano concertos for Awadagin Pratt and A Far Cry, and Lara Downes with the Louisville Symphony, Oregon Bach Festival, and The Ravinia Festival.
She is the co-founder and artistic director of the Brooklyn based arts institution and incubator, National Sawdust, and as part of her commitment to the next generation and equity, she started the Hildegard Competition for emerging female, trans, and non-binary composers and the Blueprint Fellowship for emerging composers with The Juilliard School. She was a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow and a Sundance Fellow, has been in residence at the Park Avenue Armory and MASS MoCA, and was a graduate of the Juilliard School.
Rainer Simon is the Artistic Consultant of Barrie Kosky (General Manager and Artistic Director of Komische Oper Berlin). He is board member of the ZMB (Zeitgenössisches Musiktheater Berlin e.V.) and cocurated the BAM-festival for contemporary music theatre in 2018 (i.a. at Sophiensaele Berlin) and 2019 (i.a. at Volksbühne Berlin). From the season 2022/23 on he will be the Head of Special Venues all over the city (as Komische Oper Berlin has to leave its main building due to renovation work) as well as Artistic Director of Schall und Rausch. Festival für brandneues Musiktheater der Komischen Oper Berlin. He is the author of articles and books like “Labor oder Fließband” (2013), “Konzert der Sinne” (2018) and “Staging Gender” (2019).