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Gabriel Erkoreka in "Scherzo Magazine" 


National Music Award 2021

Ismael G. Cabral

"For his brilliant career as a creator and for the richness of his compositional language (...) For the international projection of his music, programmed in important seasons and European festivals". In these terms, the jury of the National Music Prize expressed itself last October referring to its winner in 2021, in the field of composition, Gabriel Erkoreka (Bilbao, 1969). Award that, in the interpretation category, went to the organist Montserrat Torrent. Erkoreka thus becomes part of the group of composers who have deserved this award at the right time, with an important catalog and a lot to say. Among all this activity is, for example, that of supporting the imminent birth of a monographic album that Alfonso Gómez has dedicated to his complete piano works on the Kairos label.

Basque composer Gabriel Erkoreka wins Spain’s National Music Award


The Basque composer Gabriel Erkoreka has been given the Spanish National Music Award. In its statement the jury praised Erkoreka "for his brilliant career as a creator and for the richness of his compositional language, which highlights the personal fusion of traditional Basque instruments". The jury also underlined "the international projection of his music, featured in important European seasons and festivals". 

Born in Bilbao in 1969, Gabriel Erkoreka´s work reflects different interests and inspirations, such as nature and the need to preserve it, traditional and folk music of diverse backgrounds and the exploration of the mind. With a marked concern for social issues, he has extensively cultivated solo and ensemble works as a way of confronting the individual and the collective. His production shows a genuine preference for dramatic texture, with vibrant dynamics and registers, which are condensed in a language of great richness and pronounced musicality. 

The Spanish National Music Award comes on top of other awards Erkoreka has received throughout his career, including the Reina Sofía Prize for Musical Composition in 2008, First Prize awarded by SGAE in 1996, the 1999 Basque Government Award for Contemporary Musical Composition, the Josiah Parker Prize and other prizes at the Royal Academy of Music, as well as the Rome Prize in 2001 and the Spanish College of Music Composition in Paris-INAEM. The Basque composer has performed at the Biennale di Venezia (2004 and 2014), Musikverein in Vienna, South Bank Centre, ICA and Wigmore Hall in London, and in cities as far reaching as Hong Kong, Beijing, Tokyo, Sydney, New York, Chicago, Saint Petersburg and Buenos Aires. Erkoreka has also taken part in the UNESCO International Tribune of Composers and the Gaudeamus Muziekweek in the Netherlands. 

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