Seung-Won Oh wins Kees van Baaren Prize

17 June 2023

On Saturday 17 June, during Composer's Day, composer and alumna Seung-Won Oh received the Kees van Baaren Prize for her composition YeonDo.The New European Ensemble, Cappela Pratensis and alto and alumna Elisa de Toffol, performed the work at Festival Dag in de Branding.

In an interview with Festival Dag in de Branding, Seung-Won Oh explains what winning this prize means to her:
'Not only the crafts and musicality but more importantly also the philosophy and the message in YeonDo are acknowledged. This prestigious recognition is a significant validation of my musical thought process. It encourages me to continue to breathe in this music philosophy and pay attention to the importance of the players and the audience: they are growing to be the integral parts when designing a new composition.'

Elisa de Toffol, soloist and alumna of the Royal Conservatoire:

'Performing as soloist in Yeon-Do by Seung-Won, has been the most beautiful challenge of this 2023 so far. Through the whole preparation process until the day of the concert, I dived more and more into the sacred and solemn dimension of the piece while getting deeper into the sounds and meaning of the Korean language and text. I felt the special connection that the composer Seung-Won had with this piece and it was very important for me not only to do a good performance but also get in touch with the soul of the piece. Playing with wonderful musicians such as Cappella Pratensis, New European Ensemble and the conductor Manoj Kamps (a fellow alumnus of The Royal Conservatoire), made this noble task quite a natural direction to take. Regarding the festival Dag in the Branding, I sang in the festival already in 2021 and I knew it would have been again a wonderful experience, both for the artists and for the audience.'

The whole article with more background behind the composition can be read here.

In February, Ensemble Academy students performed a composer's portrait featuring six pieces by this award-winning composer. You can read an interview about this here.