Musician, composer and instrument-maker Úlfur Hansson was awarded a prize in the International Rostrum of Composers last Friday, Mbl.is reports.
Úlfur’s composition entitled “So Very Strange” was selected by the state broadcasting company RÚV as the entry for the competition, which was held in Prague May 28-31. His song entry is notable for including an electroacoustic instrument called an Ohm, which Úlfur built during his final year of composition studies at the Iceland Academy of the Arts. The large round instrument is comprised of 26 strings controlled by a built-in computer, and looks like a type of modern, wood-encased dream catcher.
Úlfur’s piece was broadcast at the forum and ultimately selected as the winner in the “under 30” category. “It was bit of a surprise but it’s very nice to get this recognition from the classical world,” says Úlfur. “This prize means I will get to compose a piece for the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra and that is incredibly exciting.”
In addition to the aforementioned honour, he also receives the Guy Huot Bursary for young composers and the UNESCO Picasso-Miro Medal.
Taking place since 1954, the International Rostrum of Composers is organised by the International Music Council and celebrates contemporary art music and classical composition. State broadcasters who enter the contest, not individuals, select the compositions and also provide financial assistance to the international forum. There were over 30 national broadcasters presenting 60 different compositions in last week’s forum.