Víctor Ibarra has won the inaugural Basel Composition Competition with In memoriam. He receives CHF 60,000 (£47,850).

The Mexican composer impressed the judges with his treatment of micro-tonality, with jury member Georg Friedrich Haas praising the ‘exciting harmonic world’ created in the piece.

Ibarra has studied with musicians including Hebert Vázquez, José Luis Castillo, Edith Lejet, Daniel D’Adamo and Michael Jarrell, and received his masters in composition from the National Music and Dance Conservatory of Lyon, unanimously winning first prize and recognition by the Salabert Foundation.

He has won first place in the Alea III competition, the Auditorio Nacional de Música de España competition and the Mauricio Kagel competition, and became a named member of the Sistema Nacional de Creadores de Arte from the National Fund for Culture and Arts of Mexico in 2014.

Second prize (CHF 25,000) was awarded to Italian composer Pasquale Corrado for After last October, and third prize (CHF 15,000) went to South Korean composer Hannah Hanbiel Choi for her chamber orchestra work Hide and seek.

The competition saw a total of ten compositions performed by the Basel Chamber Orchestra (KOB) and the Basel Symphony Orchestra (SOB) in the foyer of the Theater Basel between 16 and 19 February 2017. On the evening of 18 February, the jury, comprising Michael Jarrell, Felix Meyer, Oliver Knussen, Georg Friedrich Haas and the representatives of the KOB (Matthias Arter) and SOB (Soyoung Yoon), selected these three works for the finale.

The competition was established in memory of Paul Sacher, inviting musicians of all ages and nationalities to bring their works to Basel for their world premiere. The second edition will take place in February 2019.