Composer Steven Daverson has been awarded the Ernst von
Siemens Music Foundation’s prize for composition. Born in 1985, he is its
youngest ever winner. The prize is valued at €40,000 and also includes a
commission for German contemporary music specialists Ensemble Recherche.
Daverson will be presented with the award at a ceremony in Munich this May.
Daverson is currently studying for a doctorate at the Royal
College of Music.
‘I was very surprised to win,’ he told CM.
‘I got back from the Darmstadt summer school and the foundation representatives
asked me to send some scores and recordings for a meeting.
‘I’d heard of the
institution but hadn’t really understood what it is they do, and so I sent off
the materials and forgot about it. Then about a year later they gave me a call
and told me I’d got the prize. It was a pretty big surprise and I’m absolutely
ecstatic. Now I’ve just got to finish the piece!’
The prize was awarded for Daverson’s soon-to-be-completed
cycle, Elusive Tangibility, which he
calls ‘a dialogue between the weightless and the settled’.
The prize’s board of trustees commended the young composer
on his ‘exceptional sound textures that are, by virtue of their density,
reminiscent of techniques and role models from the visual arts. His music is
characterised by a specifically haptic quality, and by a special and yet always