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Ernst von Siemens Foundation - Composers' Prize 2022

New CD : Cherche titre

L'Instant Donné and Marion Tassou

Odradek records


"The first portrait CD of the prolific composer Mikel Urquiza confirms his partnership with L’Instant Donné ensemble and focuses on his subtle, elaborate style." Michèle Tosi

"Urquiza is a master forger. The seeds of doubt are sown. Go in, go astray, delight in the delirium." Dan Albertson



Mikel Urquiza (1988, Bilbao) writes lively, colourful music, where things are not what they seem : one idea hides another one, peripheral elements become central, and what looks serious pulls a face. Fresh and original, his voice has quickly found its place within the European scene, carried by the ensemble Intercontemporain, L'Instant Donné, C Barré, Musikfabrik, Mosaik, Ascolta, and the New European Ensemble at festivals such as Présences, ManiFeste, ECLAT, Acht Brücken, Gaudeamus, and the Venice Biennale ; in 2022 he receives the Composer prize of the Siemens Musikstiftung.

A choir singer all along his youth, he is passionate about voice and shows it in Alfabet, written for Sarah Maria Sun, I nalt be clode on the frolt, for Marion Tassou, Songs of Spam, for the Neue Vocalsolisten, and Howl, premiered by the vocal ensemble Exaudi at the Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik 2022.


His chamber music pieces, full of imitative writing, bizarre associations, and all sort of tricks, are created by first-class partners such as Trio Catch, which performs Pièges de neige at the Cologne Philharmonie, Radial System in Berlin, and the Resonanz Raum in Hamburg, or the Diotima Quartet, which premieres his first string quartet Indicio at the Festival Pontino in Italy, and the second string quartet Index at the Festival Musica in Strasburg.

Mikel Urquiza (1988, Bilbao) studied composition first at Musikene (San Sebastian) with Gabriel Erkoreka and Ramon Lazkano, then at Paris CNSM with Gérard Pesson. In 2019-2020 he is first mentored by the Peter Eötvös Contemporary Music Foundation, then a fellow of the French Academy in Rome - Villa Medici. As a PhD student of the SACRe doctoral program, he writes a thesis under the direction of Laurent Feneyrou, Stefano Gervasoni, and Francesca Alberti.

Peter Eötvös Foundation
PSL University
Villa Medici






Pièges de neige

mdi ensemble

Teatro Arsenale, Milano


Pièges de neige

mdi ensemble

Teatro Arsenale, Milano


Jupiter musicarius

Commissioned by the I and I foundation (premiere)

Maja Horvat

Diputación de Badajoz



Cancionero sin palacio

Ensemble C Barré

Halle des musiciens, Toulon


Songs of Spam

My voice is my password

Commissioned by the Basque department for culture (premiere)

Neue Vocalsolisten & C Barré ensemble

Festival Présences, Paris



Commissioned by the Peter Eötvös Foundation (premiere)

Dániel Janca, Savaria Symphony Orchestra, Rémi Durupt

Bartók Hall, Szombathely


La pluie dans un verre d'eau for flute

Blond vénitien for cello

Des pas sur ta peau for accordion

Commissioned by the Acht brücken festival (premiere)

Soloists of Ensemble Modern

Kölner Philharmonie




  Chamber music    

Cinq pièges brefs

piano trio - 2012

[vln, vc, pno]

Duration: 7'40

Première : DAI Contemporain, Paris

Manual de vuelo del aeronauta inexperto

wind quintet - 2015

[fl, ob, cl, horn, bsn]

Duration: 6'

Première : Ensemble Intercontemporain Soloists, Paris

  Ensemble music        

Les lueurs se sont multipliées

septet - 2015

[fl, cl, perc, pno, vn, va, vc]

Duration: 12'

Comissioned by the Format Raisins Festival

Première : L'Instant Donné, La Charité-sur Loire

Opus vermiculatum

nonet - 2017

[fl, ob, cl, sax, perc, pno, vn, va, vc]

Duration: 12'

Comissioned by the CNDM

Première : mosaik ensemble & Enno Poppe

  Orchestra music        

Las olas

string orchestra - 2017


Duration: 10'


Orchestre des Lauréats du Conservatoire

cond. Peter-Jelle de Boer, Paris


Ikusia ikusirik

orchestra - 2016

[ - 3perc - ac.cel.harp - strings]

Duration: 6'30

Première: Musikene Orchestra, cond. Arturo Tamayo, Saint Sebastian

  Solo music        


guitar and electronics - 2014

Duration: 6'

Première : Bertrand Chavarría-Aldrete, Paris



piano - 2016

Duration: 6'

Commissioned by BOZAR & ECHO

Première : Mariam Batsashvili, Cologne

  Vocal music        

White nights

soprano and string quartet - 2014

Poems by Paul Auster

Duration: 11'

Voix nouvelles Royaumont

Première : Sarah Sun et Quatuor Diotima, Royaumont


I nalt be clode on the frolt

soprano & ensemble - 2018

[sopr, fl, ob, cl, hp, pno, perc, vl, va, vc]

Duration: 12'

Commissioned by Radio France

Première: Marion Tassou & L'Instant Donné

  + Show catalogue