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The MAX BRAND Ensemble – The New Music Ensemble of Lower Austria

INÖK honours and celebrates the memory of the great Lower Austrian composer MAX BRAND, who died in Langenzersdorf in 1980. Initiated by Richard Graf and in artistic collaboration with Christoph Cech and Johannes Kretz, The New Music Ensemble of Lower Austria - The MAX BRAND Ensemble was founded during a ceremony in Klangraum Minoritenkirche Krems during the “Days of New Music in Lower Austria 2012”. The ensemble strives to create and promote innovative art and facilitate new forms of musical perception and appreciation in the spirit of MAX BRAND. The concept of  “New Music” comprises a wide spectrum of musical modes of expression. It is characterized by such terms as: experimentally condensed sound acoustics of tonal language enriched by rhythmic languages of the world, parametric and free improvisation, contemporary jazz, electronic media, unorthodox instrumentation and vocalization. These modes are to serve as a forum for new ways of progressive lateral thinking in the art of composition.

Art director: Richard Graf





The MAX BRAND Ensemble is „curious“ about innovative compositional approaches and unusual musical perspectives in order to explore new horizons. For this reason, the ensemble has regularly commissioned compositions since its foundation in 2012.

Now for the first time the MAX BRAND composition award is being announced, which approaches international composers of any age.

We are looking for an innovative composition that reflects the broad spectrum of new music and explores new ground in the spirit of Max Brand. The vocabulary of New Music is to be expanded to include rhythmic languages of the world, parametric and free improvisation, contemporary jazz, live electronics, or unorthodox instrumental combinations.

The composition shall be written for the MAX BRAND Ensemble and include also (live) electronics.

The competition is organized by the MAX BRAND Ensemble and the INÖK - Interessengemeinschaft Niederösterreichische KomponistInnen. The jury will award prizes for three compositions. The prize money for the winning work is

€ 5.000,-

and is provided by the Berndorf Private Foundation.

The internationally renowned composer Friedrich Cerha is the honorary patron of this competition. Artistic director and chairman of the jury: Richard Graf





Composers of any nationality/gender/age are eligible to apply. The works submitted to the competi- tion may not have been performed, published or awarded before.



At least eight of the following instruments must been used, (live) electronics are desired.

1-2 violins
flute (or piccolo- or alto flute)
oboe (or english horn)
clarinet (or bass clarinet) or saxophone (soprano, alto, tenor or baritone) bassoon
french horn
percussion (1 player; handpercussion, drumset, Glockenspiel)
(Live) electronics and/or audio feeds
Technical details: Sound reinforcement with a maximum of 4 loudspeakers possible, use of common live electronic effects such as harmonizer, frequency shifter, ring modulator, delays, reverb, freezing, live recording/playback, distortion. If a more complex live electronic system is to be used, an appropriate professional, self-explanatory MaxMSP or pure-data patch must be enclosed, which can be executed on the following hardware: MacBook Pro 2.8 GHz Intel core i7, 8 GB Ram, audio interface with a maximum of 6 input channels with a maximum of 6 condenser microphones and a maximum of 4 output channels. The use of video projection is not intended.



12-15 minutes



Entry deadline postponed to 12. 12. 2020

For submission go to maxbrand.info and check the required application, which contains the following items:

• Contact details (name, address, e-mail, phone)
• Score (PDF)
• Short bio, infos about the submitted piece and cover letter • Optional recording (mp3 or m4a, max. 10 MB)
• Payment confirmation of the entry fee

The results of the competition will be announced in October 2020 as part of the Tage der Neuen Musik. The composers of the selected pieces must supply eligible parts free of charge before December 31, 2020.



1st price: € 5.000,- (founded by Berndorf Privatstiftung) and performance plus recording (audio and video) as part of the MAX BRAND-Tage in spring 2021

2nd price: Performance plus recording (audio and video) as part of the MAX BRAND-Tage in spring 2021

Special prize for the best composition of a composer born after January 1, 1990: performance plus recording (audio and video) as part of the MAX BRAND-Tage in spring 2021



EUR 40,- (USD 45,-) per composition, payable to: Interessengemeinschaft Nö KomponistInnen (INÖK)
HYPO NÖ Landesbank, IBAN: AT96 5300 0011 5500 5439, BIC: HYPNATWW

The copyright remains with the composers. The composer guarantees that the submitted work is free of rights of third parties. The MAX BRAND Ensemble is granted the right to perform the award-winning works, to do audio and video recordings, take photos and exploit them if applicable. The decision of the jury is final and incontestable. Any legal recourse is excluded in all matters concerning the competition. By submitting an entry, the participant accepts the conditions of the competition. The submitted scores remain in the MAX BRAND Ensemble's archives.



Application Details (PDF) 

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