Agata Zubel collects European Composers Award

Polish composer Agata Zubel has won the European Composers Award 2018 for her piece Fireworks. She was presented with her prize, and a cheque for €5,000, by Berlin mayor Michael Müller.

Zubel said her piece has a “humanistic” message, and dedicated it to Poland, “a country that regained its freedom only a hundred years ago”.

The European Composers Award is part of the Young Euro Classic festival, during which the European Youth Orchestra (EYO) performed Fireworks. The piece also featured at BBC Proms 49, again performed by EYO under the baton of Gianandrea Noseda.

Manolis Vlitakis, leader of the jury, cited the works “power of imagination” and “perceptible passion” as its strengths.

Born in 1978, Zubel is a singer as well as a composer, performing works by Witold Lutosławski, Henryk Gorecki and Philip Glass. Her compositions include String Quartet No 1 (Ultraschall Festival in Berlin), Shades of Ice (London Sinfonietta) and Double Battery (Ensemble Intercontemporain).