The new award winner of the Claudio Abbado Composition Prize for 2016 is composer Vito Žuraj, who was born in Slovenia in 1979. The award winner is commissioned to compose a work which takes into account the instrumentation possibilities of the Academy students as well as their musical and artistic qualifications. Vito Žuraj will compose a large work for the Orchestra Academy calling for all the Academy students and a soprano soloist. It will be a “Raummusikwerk” (spatial music), a composition which consciously exploits the acoustic architectural possibilities of the Kammermusiksaal, including the many large and small galleries. The award presentation and premiere will take place on 5 November 2017 during a gala concert in the Kammermusiksaal of the Berlin Philharmonie.
Claudio Abbado, chief conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker from 1989 to 2002, transferred the assets of the Claudio Abbado Music Foundation to the Foundation for the Promotion of the Orchestra Academy in 2002. In memory of the great conductor the Orchestra Academy awards the Claudio Abbado Composition Prize on an occasional basis. Previous winners of the Claudio Abbado Composition Prize include Jörg Widmann (2006), Bruno Mantovani (2010) and Valerio Sannicandro (2014). In the future the Orchestra Academy intends to award the Claudio Abbado Composition Prize every two years.