Our regular listen to and look at living, breathing composers and performers that you may not know yet, but I know you should… And can, right here and now, since they’re nice enough to offer so much good listening online:

Ferrer Salat Foundation (Spain)

16th awards

The Ferrer Salat Foundation was created in Barcelona in 1982 by Carlos Ferrer Salat. Its purpose is to promote contemporary classical music, and concentrates mainly on organizing the Queen Sophia Award for Musical Composition ceremony, held annually, to which the Foundation devotes all its resources.

The winning composer receives a prize of 18,500 Euros, and has the exceptional opportunity of having their work performed by the Spanish Radio Television Symphonic Orchestra in the presence of the Queen. This concert is broadcast live on the classical music station of “Radio Nacional de España” and later appears on Spanish television’s “Conciertos de la 2”.

CDs of the works are also available for purchase on the website, but what’s fun here is that you can listen to virtually all of the winning compositions (at least from 2004 on back) complete as streaming MP3s. Just visit the “Award Winners” links and click on each year, find and click on the little ear and notes just above the text and the piece will start playing in your browser. The entire site is available in Spanish, Catalan, and English; just pick your pleasure from the homepage.

The list of winners has some well-known names, such as Joan Guinjoan, Witold Lutoslawski and Xavier Montsalvatge; but there are plenty of new faces to get to know.