Wolf Durmashkin Composition Award
in Cooperation with
University of Music and Theater Munich
Vice-president of the “Comitée International de Dachau”
Prof. Dr. Bernd Redmann, Prof. Jan Müller-Wieland, Prof. Tilmann Jäger, Mark Mast
Idea and Conception
Karla Schönebeck, Wolfgang Hauck, Martin Schleske
Leading Idea, Nameship and Historical Background
Wolf Durmashkin came from a Jewish-Polish musician family from today’s Vilnius in Lithuania. The music of Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Grieg or Tchaikovsky was cultivated in his family.
Wolf Durmashkin conducted the Vilnius Symphony Orchestra, was a choirdirector, and also composed.
After the German occupation in 1941 his activities were limited to ghettos and concentration camps. He was separated from the family and died in 1944 one day before the liberation by the Red Army in an Estonian concentration camp, which had been set on fire by the SS.
The sisters of Wolf Durmashkin Henia (singer) and Fania (pianist) were deported to the Dachau-satellite-concentration camps of Kaufering/Landsberg. In April 1945, when the US Army was advancing, they were sent to the so-called “death march of Dachau».
Just four weeks later, a concert took place with other survivors of the Holocaust. It took place in the Monastery of St Ottilien (which had become a Hospital for Displaced Persons). After the founding of the state of Israel in May 1948 and after the emigration of some musicians to America, this extraordinary orchestra was disbanded.
In the Landsberger DP camp on May 10th 1948 the Orchestra, now named “Orchestra Szeerit Hapleitah” (Orchestra of Last Survivors) gave a concert which was a symbolic and significant event, but is almost unknown in the present.
The concert was directed at the expresed wish of the young and aspiring Leonard Bernstein. This event simultaneously symbolizes a historical turning point: the simultaneous end and beginning, desperation and hope, fight and spiritual resistance.
In Landsberg Adolf Hitler had announced the extermination of the Jews during his fortress in the book «Mein Kampf».
In Landsberg am Lech, the Nazis had built the largest sub-camp complex in the final phase of the Third Reich. After 1945, also in Landsberg, one of the largest DP camps in the American zone had been erected.
May 10th 2018, marks the 70th anniversary of the concert along with the establishment of the independent State of Israel ((14th of May 1948).
It is with this historical background we call upon young people to consider; the circumstances, moods, feelings, defeats, fighting, and also the rebellion as a framework in their compositions.
To this end, different materials are available to become familiar with these historically unique events and to develop personal experience and interpretation.
As public competition composers of all nationalities, up to 35 years of age (Deadline January 10th 2018) may participate.
Conditions of participation
We offer independent creative freedom in all other areas. From the multi-faceted historical subject only the following guidelines for instrumentation and occupation should be considered.
Compositions for the following categories and casting
Category: Vocal and Instrumental
Cast: Up to five musicians
Compositions are permitted only with the following instruments and musicians, which can be staged without technical / electronic aids:
Solo use of
Vocal (Tenor, Soprano),
String instruments (max. 2 x Violin, 1 x Viola, 1 x Cello, 1 x Bass),
Horn and Trumpet.
Text material for compositions
From the historical and biographical material, poems, songs or texts are made available. These texts can be edited and used as desired.
Text of “the International”
An inmate of the concentration camp describes the emotional significance of “The International” (text Eugène Pottier, melody by the Belgian Pierre Degeyter) for the inmates who sang them simultaneously in their own languages.
It became a secret camp anthem so to speak.
Therefore, this text can also be used as the basis for compositions or editing.
All texts and information are available for download on the website.
• One composition per participant can be sent
• The performance may be up to max. 10 minutes
• The works submitted must be compiled for this competition and may not have been published or awarded in any form (performance, online, video or recordings).
An introduction to the DP orchestra, Wolf Durmashkin and the situation in the concentration camps in the Landsberg am Lech region is available as an introduction to the subject and background.
You can find them at the following Link: www.wdc-award.org
The prize is awarded in three stages, regardless of the category:
1st prize 3,000 €
2nd price 2.000 €
3rd price 1,500 €
The judging panel is entitled to distribute the total sum differently by unanimous decision.
The prizes are donated by private persons.
Payment of the prize will be made after the award ceremony and to bank account, indicated by the prize winner.
Jury, Judging Panel, Experts and Auditors
- The jury is composed of specialist prize judges and expert judges.
- The price court meets in a non-public session.
- Every jury member has one vote.
The jury consists of four specialist judges (music and composition) and three expert judges (survivors of concentration camps, members of the Durmashkin family, and an adolescent of the working group camp VII, who carrys out qualified guided tours).
Specialist judges and prize judges
Prof. Dr. Bernd Redmann
Prof. Jan Müller-Wieland
Prof. Tilman Jäger
The judges will first make a preselection of the works submitted, which will be presented to the jury for the final selection.
The selected works will be prepared by the judges in cooperation with musicians in a suitable form, in order to present them in an internal competition performance the entire jury. From these contributions, the jury named above, will award the winners of the
“Wolf Durmashkin Composition Award (WDCA)”.
The assess of the jury is final. There is no recourse to legal action.
Application of the compositions / application:
The scores will be sent anonymously in electronic form as a PDF (printable for a maximum size of Din A3) with a self-selected fife-digit password (code).
Via e-mail to:
The works should be as digital as possible; in the case of handwritten manuscripts each one must pay attention to readability.
- The registration documents must be either in German or English.
- The language of the lyrics of the compositions can be chosen freely.
- The scores may not contain references to the composer’s name or origin.
- The following content should be included in the e-mail:
- Name, telephone number, e-mail address
- Address of composer
- Portrait photo
- Copy of passport / identity card
- Artistic curriculum vitae
- List of works
- Statement of authorship of the submitted work and the declaration of consent to the performance and its recording.
The relevant forms are available for download at www.wdc-award.org
The submission deadline is the January 10th 2018. (Poststamp/E-Mail-Signature)
Submissions by post are only legally binding upon receipt to the following address:
Weilheimer Str. 6 d
86899 Landsberg am Lech
Announcement of prizes
The prizes will be announced on the website of the dieKunstBauStelle e.V.» association and the university, after the jury’s meeting, which is scheduled to take place in February 2018, as well as by e-mail to the participants.
Premiere and award ceremony
The award ceremony of the award-winning works will take place place May 9th 2018 in the City Theatre of Landsberg am Lech.
The premiere a of the award-winning works will take place on the May 10th 2018 in a double concert at 1:00 pm and 8:00 pm in the City Theatre of Landsberg am Lech.
Other conditions of participation
By submitting a piece of work, the participant acknowledges the above and the following conditions of participation.
The names of the senders remain secret. Only the names of the award winners may be published after the jury’s decision has been finalized.
The legal action for the enforcement of claims in connection with this competition – even if is not carried out or the award-winning works should not be performed – to excluded.
All exploitation rights concerning the «Wolf Durmashkin Music Award (WDMA)» go to the association «dieKunstBauStelle e.V.».
The works submitted must not be premiered or about to premiere at the time of submission, nor publicly listed, honored or published. Postal documents are the property of the association “dieKunstBauStelle e.V.” and will not be returned.
The award winner explicitly agrees that the scores will be made available to the registered ensembles after the submission deadline of the competition.
Copying is explicitly permitted. The participants accept the terms of the contest with their signature.
There is no recourse to legal action.
Correct to August 1st 2017
All rights reserved by dieKunstBauStelle e.V.