The winner of Allmänna Sången & Anders Wall Composition Award 2021 has been selected. After reviewing contributions from countries all around the world, the jury has decided to give the award to Gittan Glans for her piece ”When Breathing Like a Bird”. She will receive a prize sum of SEK 50, 000, in addition to having her piece premiered by Allmänna Sången and published by Gehrmans Musikförlag AB. The award ceremony and premiere of the winning piece is scheduled to take place at Allmänna Sången’s anniversary concert on October 23rd, 2021.
The jury’s remarks
”The composer shows great knowledge in writing for choir, with smart usage of different compositional techniques. The strong technical foundation, together with a convincing approach to the metaphor of the text, makes this a standout piece, ready for richly nuanced interpretations worldwide.”
Gittan Glans is originally from Åsenhöga outside Gnosjö in Småland, Sweden. She has an education as a piano teacher from the music academy in Gothenburg and now works as a freelance musician, arranger, composer and piano teacher at the music academy at Södra Vätterbygdens Folkhögskola (SVF) in Jönköping. As a freelance musician she works across genres and feels at home in everything from jazz, folk music and pop to classical music.
She has written music for everything from choir and symphony orchestra to big band and her own trio, Henningson & Glans. During the years 2007–2009 she featured as singer and multi-instrumentalist in the Swedish TV show På spåret. With a background as pianist and arranger, she has begun composing more and more during the last fifteen years, and has written music for choirs such as Jönköpings Kammarkör and Musiklinjens kör at SVF.
The winning piece
“A single little voice can suffice, and with that carry all of the hope we all need to feel” – so says the text author Marie Winald-Karlström in her comment about her lyrics. ”When breathing like a bird” consists of three parts. The first is playful and illustrates, among other things, raindrops. The second portrays the calm before sunrise. In the third part, the feeling of happiness shines through and the bird gets to give a voice to the big things contained within the small – ”When breathing like a bird”.
Words from the winner
“Choral music is something that has always been there and shaped my entire music life. I have sung a lot in choirs, such as in Göteborgs Kammarkör under the direction of Gunnar Eriksson. As a chorist you gain an insight into the structure of choirs and choral music, something that I think has inspired me, and that has had a great influence on my writing. In light of this, and because choral music is so dear to my heart, I feel truly honoured and immensely happy to have received this award. Thank you!!!”
Allmänna Sången & Anders Wall Composition Award
Allmänna Sången & Anders Wall Composition Award was arranged for the first time in 2013 when Allmänna Sången celebrated fifty years as a mixed choir. In connection with the anniversary, the choir together with Anders Wall announced a competition for female composers.
The purpose of the competition is to draw attention to female composers and their work, and to stimulate the creation of new choir pieces that can enrich and develop modern day choir music. The competition is international and targets female composers irrespective of profession or nationality. All entries are reviewed by a reputable international jury comprised of distinguished composers and conductors. This year, the jury was comprised of Libby Larsen, Ēriks Ešenvalds, Robert Sund and Maria Goundorina.
Allmänna Sången & Anders Wall Composition Award is made possible through a collaboration with Gehrmans Musikförlag AB, together with sponsoring from Kjell och Märta Beijers Stiftelse and Uppsala kommuns kulturnämnd.