About the project
Asian Composers Showcase

The TIMF Ensemble performing at the Asian Composers Showcase 2014. Photo: TIMF

Not only musicians, but also composers from Asia have been shaping the international concert scene for quite a while. Much has happened since Isang Yun, a pioneer in bridging Western classical music and Korean tradition, left the quiet seaside town of Tongyeong to set out for Europe; cosmopolitan artists nowadays draw inspiration from sounds that defy binary definition. How to make this diverse young generation of composers heard by a larger audience?

The Asian Composers Showcase provides a platform for young composers from Asia. Developed as an idea by the conductor Alexander Liebreich and the Goethe-Institut East Asia program director, it takes place every year since 2013 as part of the Tongyeong International Music Festival (TIMF).

At the music festival, the pieces from five composers selected from an Open Call are premiered by the Ensemble TIMF or a guest ensemble to a large audience. A jury of five experts from all over the world selects the winner of the “Goethe Award” for the best composition. The prize includes a prize money of € 2,000 and a composition commission for the festival of the coming year. Since the first edition of the Showcase, the possible countries of origin for participants have increased to include both Northeast and Southeast Asia. In addition, the range of instrumentation has been expanded.

Former participants take their experience from the Showcase with them into the music world that serves as a stepping stone for these aspiring, cosmopolitan composers. The showcase has given many winners the opportunity to present their pieces in different locations and to advance their careers. At the same time, the event gives the audience the opportunity to get to know young Asian composers and their music.