ERIC ERICSON AWARD 2021
On October 21-24, 2021, it is time for the next edition of the Eric Ericson Award, perhaps the world’s most prestigious competition for young choir conductors, hosted this time by the Swedish Radio, with event direction by Berwaldhallen, in collaboration with the Royal Swedish Academy of Music, the Rosenborg-Gehrmans Foundation and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).
Of more than 90 applicants, eight young choir conductors from Germany, Latvia, England, France and Russia advanced to the semi-finals in Berwaldhallen in October. In October a winner and a second and third prize winner are chosen.
Eric Ericson Award, the prestigious international competition for young choral conductors last held in 2009, is being re-established at the initiative of the Swedish Radio together with the Royal Swedish Academy of Music, the Rosenborg-Gehrmans Foundation and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). The competition is scheduled to be held every three years from October 2021.
The purpose of the Eric Ericson Award is to identify, encourage and support young and gifted choral conductors in the spirit of Eric Ericson. The award aims to uphold the high artistic and competitive standards established by the late Professor Ericson in his international career. The Eric Ericson Award offers a new generation of choral conductors the gateway to their own international careers.
ABOUT THE COMPETITION
The Eric Ericson Award is aimed at choral conductors not older than 35 years old, and who turns 36 at the earliest when the competition is finished in October 2021. Applications are open to everyone. The repertoire will be chosen from Western art music, with some emphasis on contemporary Swedish choral music.
After the application period, a Pre-selection Committee consisting of highly experienced choral conductors and conducting teachers will review the applications, selecting eight competitors who advance to the final round in Berwaldhallen in Stockholm in October 2021. Professor Stefan Parkman is chair of the Pre-selection Committee. The other members are Maria Goundorina, Marc Korovitch, Lone Larsen, Fredrik Malmberg, Karin Oldgren and Jan Yngve.
A repertoire committee has selected the repertoire for the final round of the competition.
The winner of the 2021 Eric Ericson Award will be selected by a jury consisting of internationally renowned choral conductors, singers and former competition winners. The jury’s chair is Cecilia Rydinger, Professor of Orchestral Conducting at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm and Chief Conductor of the famous men’s choir Orphei Drängar. Jury members also include Kaspars Putniņš, Karin Rehnqvist, Erik Westberg, Sofi Jeannin, Justin Doyle and a member of the Swedish Radio Choir.
The winner will get the opportunity to perform with several of Europe’s leading radio choirs (full list below), along with a prize sum of SEK 100,000, provided by the Rosenborg-Gehrmans Foundation. The two runners-up will each receive a prize sum of SEK 25,000.
• May 17th, 2021: We must receive your competition application by this date.
• July 2th, 2021: We announce the eight participants that has made it to the semi-finals.
• October 21st and 22nd, 2021: Rehearsals and semi-finals are held, where the eight participants conduct Eric Ericson Chamber Choir and St. Jacob Chamber Choir before the jury, which then selects three finalists.
• October 23rd, 2021: The three finalists rehearse with The Swedish Radio Choir ahead of the final.
• October 24th, 2021: The final concert is broadcast live from Berwaldhallen in Stockholm, where the jury crowns the winner of the 2021 Eric Ericson Award.
Eric Ericson Chamber Choir and St. Jacob Chamber Choir will perform in the semifinals 21 and 22 October 2021. The Swedish Radio Choir will perform in the final 24th October 2021.
The following choirs have accepted to engage the winner of the 2021 Eric Ericson Award during some of their upcoming seasons:
- BBC Singers
- Chœur de Radio France
- RIAS Kammerchor Berlin
- Netherlands Radio Choir
- Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks
- Romanian Radio Academic Choir
- ERT Greek Radio Choir
- Swedish Radio Choir
- MRD-Rundfunkchor Leipzig
The official language of the EEA is English. A basic understanding of the English language is required of all applicants.
The Repertoire Committee consists of Anders Eby, professor and conductor, Arne Lundmark, singer and former head of planning of the Swedish Radio Choir and Johan Pejler, singer in the Swedish Radio Choir.
The repertoire of Eric Ericson Award is chosen from repertoire in the Classical, Romantic and contemporary periods of Western art music. Swedish and Nordic music in general have a special role in the Competition. In other respects, the aim has been to find works with a similar length, similar degree of difficulty and, above all, that they contain inspiring challenges for the competing choir conductors; difficulties that also make it easier for the jury to make an assessment.
The semifinals on 21 – 22 October and rehearsals on 23 October will be live-streamed on Berwaldhallen Play. They are seen as ‘open rehearsals’ during which the competitors are free to decide on how they want to spend this time. The final is held in Berwaldhallen, recorded, live-streamed and there will be an audience in the Hall. More details about the semifinals and final are to be found in Rules and Regulations (pdf).
ABOUT THE ERIC ERICSON AWARD
The Eric Ericson Award was established on the initiative of Stefan Parkman, choir conductor and Professor in Choral Conducting at the Department of Musicology, Uppsala University. The competition was held in 2003, 2006 and 2009 by Uppsala University Choral Centre, Eric Ericson International Choral Centre, Swedish Radio and Rikskonserter with prize money provided by the Eric Ericson Foundation. The very prestigious competition attracted young conductors from far beyond Sweden’s borders. Previous winners of the competition are Kjetil Almenning (2009), Martina Batič (2006) and Peter Dijkstra (2003).