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Photo: Lars Andersson
Johannes Pollak. Photo: Lars Andersson View original picture , opens in new tab/window

Former student nominated for the Music Publishers award

Published: 15 October 2019

The composer and former student Johannes Pollak was nominated for the Music Publishers Award in the category of Art Music of the Year. The nominated work was a composition of William Shakespeare's poem Fear no More the Heat of the Sun.

– Of course, it feels fantastic and I can still hardly believe it is true. Of course, it is very fun that my music gets noticed in this way, says Johannes Pollak, who studied the bachelor's program in music at the School of Music at Luleå University of Technology between 2013-2018.

Special prize

Being nominated as a young composer for one of Sweden's most renowned music awards, he describes as a receipt that his artistry holds the class despite fierce competition.

– Sometimes it's hard to be happy with the music you write. Often I think that what I have written does not really measure up, so it is fun to hear that at least something has been done right. It warms and inspires the future, says Johannes, adding that the Music Publishers' Price weighs extra heavily in the genre he works in.

– It is basically the only music prize that I know of, where there is also an award for art music. Of course, it makes it feel extra special.

Inspired by the drought of 2018

The inspiration for the work found Johannes Pollak in the severe drought and the subsequent forest fires that hit Sweden in the summer of 2018.

– I experienced it as very scary and felt a great fear for the future. In Shakespeare's text, however, I found solace in the idea that fear should never be paralyzing. If we can get rid of our fears, I hope and believe that we will find the strength to do what is necessary to create a sustainable future where everyone can live in peace with each other.

The Music Publishers Prize will be awarded on November 8 at Berns in Stockholm. Of course, Johannes hopes his work draws the longest straw, but at the same time feels more than happy to be nominated.

– I'm so happy and surprised to even be nominated that I haven't really had time to think about what it would mean for me to win. Of course it would have been fun but I think the other nominees in my category are fantastic composers who would really deserve the award.

Unique conditions

Johannes Pollak graduated from the Master's program in Music in the spring of 2018. The years at the composition training in Piteå are a time he will always look back on with warmth.

– Those years will be difficult to top. Mostly thanks to the fantastic teachers I got to meet during the education, but also thanks to all the fun people you met at the university. A great time to remember back to.

Do you have any advice for future students?

– Make sure you have fun and conduct projects you are passionate about. Both in the studies themselves but also in the life around the school. There are unique conditions around the universitie, so take advantage of them!