The Barcelona composer Hèctor Parra has won one of the coveted three prizes for the promotion of new music
awarded by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation
. He is the first Catalan to do so. The award is worth 40,000 euros and includes a commission for a work. The prize-giving act will take place on 24 May 2011
during a musical celebration at the Theatre Cuvilliés in Munich and his piece will be premiered by the Ensemble Recherche. The board of trustees of the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation, which includes the composers Wolfgang Rihm
and Helmut Lachenmann
among others, considers Parra to be one of the most promising young composers
: "What transpires in the music of Hector Parra is exactly what generally tends to define art: it allows us to indulge ourselves in the voluptuousness of the passing of present time."
In addition to Hector Parra, the British composer Steven Daverson and the German Hans Thomalla, based in the USA, received promotional prizes for young composers, while the Ernst von Siemens International Music Award, worth 200,000 euros, went to the great German composer Aribert Reimann in recognition of his complete works. The Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation distributes a total of 2.5 million euros. In 2011, it will support over one hundred contemporary music projects in twenty countries.
Born in Barcelona in 1976, Hèctor Parra studied at the Barcelona Conservatory, where he was awarded Prizes with Distinction in Composition, Piano and Harmony. He studied piano with Mª Jesús Crespo, and composition with David Padrós, Brian Ferneyhough and Jonathan Harvey, as well as with Michael Jarrell at the Haute École de Musique in Geneva. He was an active participant in the composition workshops at Royaumont and the Centre Acanthes (France), Takefu (Japan), Impuls Graz (Austria), and he completed the International Course in Musical Composition and Computing at the IRCAM in 2002-2003. In 2004-2005 he was invited to take up a postgraduate residency at the Conservatoire Supérieur de Musique et Danse in Lyon. In 2005 he obtained a Masters in Art Aesthetics with first-class honours from the University of Paris VIII, under the tuition of Horacio Vaggione.
Despite his youth, he has a long record of composition and has received numerous awards and commissions. He currently holds the Chair of Electroacoustic Composition at the Aragon Conservatory of Music in Spain and in 2010 took up the post of lecturer in analysis and composition with the Manuel de Falla chair at the Cádiz Conservatory., He has also worked recently in close collaboration with the eminent Harvard theoretical physicist Lisa Randall in the opera "Hypermusic Prologue"
and written the music for the film Equinoxe, directed by Laurent Carcélès, whose soundtrack has been recorded by the Ensemble intercontemporain.
His music is published by Editorial Tritó
and, since 2010, by Universal Music Publishing (Durand, Paris) in addition. A CD with his trios and chamber music pieces performed by the Ensemble Recherche is available on the KAIROS label, as is Hypermusic Prologue, recorded by the Ensemble Intercontemporain and the IRCAM.