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Tenso Young Composers Award

news from Tenso Network Europe 

April 2011


Tenso Young Composers Award for

Laurent Durupt (FR)


French composer Laurent Durupt is awarded the first Tenso Young Composers Award. The jury chose Durupt from the three finalists that participated in the final round of the Tenso Young Composers Workshop that took place in Riga in March 2011. The other two finalists where Maria Kallionpää (Finland/Austria) and Lauri Mäntysaari (Finland).


Laurent is in the second year of his masters of composition at the Paris Conservatory (cnsmdp) and is a student of Frédéric Durieux. He has been awarded € 1.250 to write a 10 to 12 minute piece for a cappella choir, to be performed in 2012/13 by multiple Tenso choirs. 


LRK at work during workshop in Riga

Latvijas Radio Koris - workshop in Riga

photo Leo Samama 


The Tenso Young Composers Workshop gives participants a chance to work closely with a professional chamber choir so that they may enhance their knowledge of vocal techniques and the musical possibilities of "the choir as instrument". The workshop, which was organized for the first time in 2010, initially chose six composers from 91 applicants from all over Europe to come to Oslo to participate in the first round. During two afternoon sessions the workshop leaders worked with the young composers and heard their scores (short pieces or sketches) performed by the Latvijas Radio Koris. Based on this experience, the three finalists where chosen to participate in the second round in Riga this past March. Both workshops were led by James Wood (composer/conductor, UK), Kaspars Putniņsh (conductor of the Latvijas Radio Koris, LV) and Leo Samama (composer and chief artistic advisor of Tenso, NL) with the participation of the Latvijas Radio Koris.
The awarding of a final prize is not a judgment on the works that were presented during the workshop, but should be seen as an encouragement for a young composer to write a new work for a cappella choir. The jury awarded the prize to the composer who, in their view, will most benefit from the commission and at the same time whose previous work shows a fascinating sound world that, translated to a score for choir, will be a valuable contribution to the choral repertoire.

The jury was highly impressed by the work that the three participants brought to the second round of the workshop. All scores - whether sketches or complete pieces - showed maturity and well-thought-out writing for choir, that in many ways are on a par with the work of better-known contemporary composers. The jury hopes to see more choral scores from all three participants in the coming years, and encourages them to develop their compositional skills, not as an end in itself but as a means to express their individual musical ideas.

In their unanimous choice to give the award to Laurent Durupt, the jury was persuaded by the promise of this young composer who is now starting to develop his musical ideas in scores for choir. The fact that Durupt had not composed for choir before was certainly a contributing factor for their choice. In the sketches he presented, Durupt sometimes used complex techniques, but always as a means to communicate ideas, and he never lost sight of this goal. While Durupt can certainly benefit from the advices given during the workshop - on the efficacy of different vocal techniques, on how to translate his musical ideas to the possibilities of a chamber choir, and especially on how to notate these - the jury is convinced that Laurent Durupt has a story to tell, and looks forward to hearing more from this promising young composer.
The award consists of a commission to write a new work for a cappella choir, to be performed by the European Tenos choirs in their regular concert seasons, and a commission fee of € 1250. During the composition process, Laurent Durupt will be given the opportunity to regularly consult the jury members and to work on his work-in-progress with the Latvijas Radio Koris. The premiere will take place in 2012/2013.




Tenso Young Composers Workshop - The choir as instrument

workshop leaders: James Wood, Leo Samama and Kaspars Putniņsh
with the participation of: Latvijas Radio Koris
first round: Oslo, 16 and 17 September 2010
final round: Riga, 10 and 11 March 2011
participants final round: 

· Laurent Durupt (France 1978)

· Maria Kallionpää (Finland/Austria 1981)

· Lauri Mäntysaari (Finland 1982)

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Laurent Durupt on getting the award :


laurent receives the award

Laurent receives the award

left to right: Kaspars, James, Laurent and Lauri


"The Tenso Award is a great opportunity to write a new piece for chamber choir. I wrote my very first vocal piece two years ago, a simple score for a project for school children in a suburb of Paris. Last summer I participated in the Royaumont workshop, with the Cris de Paris as ensemble in residence, and it was at this point that I started to think about the possibilities of choral music in earnest. The call to participate in the Tenso workshop came just at the right time for me. I rewrote my first choral piece, and tried out many things with the amazing Latvijas Radio Koris.


For this work, I took a Japanese haiku as text. For the Tenso commission, I would like to use a poem by a writer of my own age - French, or perhaps German. I will not start working on this piece for another year, so I will have plenty time to find the right text.


In September, I will start the Cursus 1 programme at Ircam - a 30 week intensive course on electronic music. I imagine that this will give me plenty of new ideas for a vocal work. Both with electronic music and vocal music the actual origin of the sound is not visible - this intangible aspect of sound fascinates me."


Paris, 5 April 2011


listen to a fragment of Akikaze  


Laurent about Akikaze (in French)

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laurent durupt

Laurent Durupt

photo Leo Samama


about Laurent Durupt


Laurent Durupt (France, 1978) started his music studies at the Conservatoire de Nancy, before enrolling in the piano classes of Hugues Leclère at the CNR conservatory in Paris (first prize in 1998). He moved to the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris (cnsmdp), where he graduated in courses of piano, analysis, polyphonic writing and improvisation. For his piano exam, he is awarded the Pierre Bourgeois by the Fondation de France.


He studied composition with Allain Gaussin and Philippe Leroux, before being admitted in the composition classes of Frédéric Durieux, and new technology classes of Luis Naon, Tom Mays and Yann Geslin, all at the Cnsmdp. In 2011, he will graduate as master in composition and in chambre music. In September 2011 he will start an intensive course in electronic music at Ircam in Paris.


Durupt teaches and performs regularly as solo pianist and in chamber ensembles. Together with his brother Rémi Durupt, he has formed the duo Links.


Laurent's website


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