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2011
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2007
Richard Wolf
Jürgen Becker
Hubert Wiedfeld
Eberhard Petschinka
Günter-Eich-Preis_2007_10 (Andreas Lamm).jpg
Andreas Ammer
FM Einheit
Friederike Mayröcker

Ror Wolf

Born on 29 June 1932 in Saalfeld, Thuringia as Richard Wolf, Ror Wolf is both a specialist and a universalist, impossible to confine to just one discipline: He writes literature, makes collage art, and writes and edits radio plays. Of himself, Wolf says, "I am basically a radio play writer who writes books from time to time." His artwork is accordingly diverse and includes pieces that he produced under Adorno, Horkheimer and others after leaving the GDR in August 1953 and studying literature, sociology and philosophy. His first literary publications appeared in 1958. After having worked as a literature editor for Hessischer Rundfunk for two years, Ror Wolf became a freelance writer in 1963. His debut as a novelist, "Fortsetzung des Berichts" ("Continuation of the report"), was published in 1964. His first radio play, "Der Chinese am Fenster" ("The Chinese man at the window"), was broadcast in 1971 and later became part of the trilogy "Auf der Suche nach Dr. Q." ("Searching for Dr Q"). With his ten live sound soccer collages produced between 1972 and 1979, Ror Wolf became a legend. He was awarded the Radio Play Award of the War-blinded for his radio play biography "Leben und Tod des Kornettisten Bix Beiderbecke aus Nord-Amerika" ("Life and death of the cornetist Bix Beiderbecke from North America"). In 2007, "Raoul Tranchirers Bemerkungen über die Stille" ("Raoul Tranchirer’s comments on silence") was named Radio Play of the Year by the German Academy of Performing Arts.

"As a Jazz enthusiast and expert, Ror Wolf is a language virtuoso, equipped with an almost musical understanding of words. In addition to that, his wonderfully fanciful take on reality, in which ever-changing perspectives and means of expression make even the most improbable things possible, makes him one of the most fascinating explorers of the realms of tone, voice and sound. The manners of acoustic storytelling that Ror Wolf draws from the medium of radio by productively analyzing its terms and capabilities have influenced the styles of subsequent generations. In their timeless modernity, they are still vivid today; the artistic sophistication and subtlety of the arrangements fuel the high entertainment value inherent in every single one of the author’s radio plays - plays that, on the whole, can be seen and heard as an homage to radio as a medium of the artistic word," the jury stated regarding the selection of the laureate.

Jürgen Becker

The Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig awards the "Günter Eich Prize" 2013 to radio play author Jürgen Becker. "Jürgen Becker is one of the most renowned German radio play authors. If the Günter Eich Prize would be awarded annually and not in a two-year alternation with the Axel Eggebrecht Prize - Jürgen Becker would already be a laureate.", said Stephan Seeger, Director of the Foundation.

The Cologne-based writer Jürgen Becker (born 1932) is one of the most influential literary voices of German radio play who has significantly influenced the radio art with his numerous radio works which arose from 1969 until present. If Günter Eich is known for a specific "Eich sound", then you could also speak of a "Becker sound". By listening to the places and landscapes in which he lived, he became a historiographer of proximity. Thanks to Becker’s accuracy and his own "language music" the seemingly long familiar everyday life becomes a radiophonic echo chamber in which collective history can be experienced in a new and concrete manner. Not least, the reunion with his East German places of childhood changed him into a poetic chronicler of German Reunification during the last two decades. The jury had to deal with a strong field of competitors. Several broadcasters and associations had proposed 18 candidates.

Hubert Wiedfeld

The Günter Eich Prize 2011 goes to the radio play author Hubert Wiedfeld, who lives in Hamburg. "Over more than four decades the material and form ideas developed by Hubert Wiedfeld have positively influenced and developed the German-language radio play", the jury justified the choice of the author and writer, who was born in Braunschweig in 1937.

Wiedfeld began producing radio plays in 1969. Before that, he completed an apprenticeship as a bank clerk and worked in a juvenile detention centre as well as in a nursing home. His more than 30 published plays are based on his literary experiences. Today Wiedfeld is regarded as one of the most important radio play authors in the country. The jury judged: "His radio plays reflect contemporary German history - both large and small - in a way that is rarely seen in a radio play author". Wiedfeld's crime, dialect and social fiction games have been awarded the "Prix Italia". The jury included the radio play critic Eva Maria Lenz, the Leipzig journalist Linde Rotta, the editor-in-chief of the "Thüringer Allgemeine" Paul-Josef-Raue and the former head of the literature and radio play department at the Austrian Radio Konrad Zobel. The jury was chaired by Christoph Buggert, radio play director of Hessischer Rundfunk (Hessian Broadcasting Company) until 2002.

The jury's statement: "Hubert Wiedfeld, born in Braunschweig in 1937, combined his life's work with the medium of radio in an impressive exclusivity. For more than four decades, the materials and form ideas he has developed have positively influenced and developed the German-language radio play. At the beginning there are the socially critical tones of the 1960s and 1970s, which Wiedfeld grounded through the introduction of self-experienced realities. The subsequent creative phase was characterized by a constant expansion of literary means of expression. In addition to excursions into the narrative patterns of detective history and science fiction, there are playful experiments with surrealist imagery. The great audio works of the last decade show the tools developed so far to their best advantage. Complex as well as poetically intensive attempts at an acoustic interpretation of the world emerge, which not least challenge the technical possibilities of the medium radio to the limit. Wiedfeld's radio plays reflect German contemporary history - in great detail as well as in detail - as is rarely the case with a radio play author. The Günter Eich Prize, awarded by the Sparkasse Leipzig Media Foundation, focuses on two areas. It is an author's prize and is awarded for a lifetime's work. In both respects, the decision for Hubert Wiedfeld seems downright compelling, it was made with a large majority. The author was proposed by Westdeutscher Rundfunk. The jury expressly points out that the same proposal in previous calls also came from Hessischer Rundfunk and Norddeutscher Rundfunk. This year's prizewinner was already shortlisted for the previous competitions".

Eberhard Petschinka

The 2009 Günter Eich Prize, awarded by Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig, goes to Eberhard Petschinka, born in Großmugl/Lower Austria in 1953. The jury's statement: "Anger and critical engagement also age. The literary executioners of each epoch must find their own language of form. The radio play author and radio director Eberhard Petschinka has succeeded in this in a convincing way. In his nearly 30 radio plays to date, he has put a large number of contemporary everyday myths to the test. With sound wit and analytical courage, questionable or ritualistic patterns of interpretation are explored and - if necessary - brought to collapse. Both as an author and as a director, he sees himself as a team worker who searches for witnesses or experts in the respective fields of experience that have been examined, whom he incites to complicity with his explosive mockery. In a working process that has been going on for decades, Eberhard Petschinka has harnessed the acoustic seduction strategies of our time for his ironic, biting purposes. A life's work that is still good for surprises is honoured."

Eberhard Petschinka, born in 1953, lives in Vienna. Writer, painter, author and director of numerous radio plays. His radio play "Krok" was awarded the Prix Futura in 1995; "Rafael Sanches erzählt mir das Lied vom Tod" (1999) received the Radio Play Award of the War-Blind and the Premio Ondas in Barcelona. For "Splitter" (1999) he was awarded the Basel Radio Play Prize. His play "Blutiger Ernst" premiered in 2001 at the Burgtheater in Vienna. Prose: "zcirkus DERwünsche" - awarded the Karl Anton Foundation Prize for Literature in 2001. 1999 turn to film ("Casanova Matador") and painting (invitation to the Biennale Concart 2004 in Bolivia and 2005 to the 4th International Art Biennale SIART, La Paz - Bolivia 2005). His radio play "Santo Subito" (MDR/ ORF 2007) won the Prix Europa as "Best European Radio Play of the Year" in 2007 and the world's most prestigious radio play prize Prix Italia in 2008. Members of the jury were the Leipzig-based author and journalist Linde Rotta; the long-standing head of the Word/Background Division at Swiss Radio DRS 2, Martin Bopp; the media scientist Hans-Jürgen Krug; the media critic and deputy head of the feature section of the Kölner Stadtanzeiger, Frank Olbert. The jury was chaired by Christoph Buggert, radio play director at Hessischer Rundfunk (Hessian Broadcasting Company) until 2002. Further information on this year's winner Eberhard Petschinka can be found on his personal homepage at www.krok.cc.

Alfred Behrens

Alfred Behrens is the first laureate of the Günter Eich Prize. The jury's statement: "Alfred Behrens, born in Hamburg-Altona in 1944, has enriched the German-language radio play with refreshing and unconventional impulses for more than 35 years. As an important pioneer and pacemaker of pop radio plays, original sound radio plays, social science fiction and audio films, he has always sought new forms of expression in acoustic narrative with a high level of language and media awareness. His manuscripts and concepts do without the fast technical gag, rather they are imaginative research journeys through the acoustic patterns of experience of the medial world. Early on, Behrens decided to direct his work, too; his stories and life stories are audio works written with the microphone. Like few of his generation, this radio poet has remained a tireless exponent and innovator of the art of radio play to this day - and he also strives to pass on his knowledge and skills to younger generations of authors."

Members of the jury were the Leipzig-based author and journalist Linde Rotta, who initiated the creation of the Schreibwerkstatt Radio (Radio workshop); the media critic Frank Kaspar; the media scientist Hans-Jürgen Krug; Konrad Zobel, until mid-2006 head of the Literature and Radio Play Department at the ORF (Austrian Broadcasting Corporation). The jury was chaired by Christoph Buggert, radio play director at Hessischer Rundfunk (Hessian Broadcasting Corporation) until 2002.

Andreas Ammer

Andreas Ammer, born 1960 in Munich, is an author and journalist. After studying German Language and Literature, Philosophy and History of the Natural Sciences, he received his doctorate in 1990. Since 1989 he has alternated as a freelance author, university lecturer, television journalist and director (including ARD broadcasting culture magazines and Spiegel-TV). Since 2003 he has been working as the producer of the ARD literary programme druckfrisch (hot off the press) and has also produced numerous radio plays and theatre productions, mostly with FM Einheit.

FM Einheit

FM Einheit (Franz-Martin Strauß by real name) was born in Dortmund in 1958. He works as a composer, musician and music producer. Since 1979 he has been active as a musician in various German formations, including Abwärts and Palais Schaumburg. Since the early 1980s he has been a percussionist and member of the Einstürzenden Neubauten. In addition, he composed acting music for productions by Peter Zadek, Werner Schwab and Hasko Weber, among others. As a producer he worked for KMFDM and Goethes Erben. In addition, he presented numerous radio plays, especially together with Andreas Ammer.

Friederike Mayröcker

Friederike Mayröcker, born on 20 December 1924 in Vienna, is one of the most renowned, productive and innovative German-language writers. She began publishing literary works in 1939, and poems in 1946; "Larifari", which appeared in 1956, was her first independent publication. She entered the world of radio drama together with Ernst Jandl and the play "Five Man Humanity", which was written for SWF in 1968 - an almost fifteen-minute piece which helped Germany’s so-called Neues Hörspiel movement to spread. Her collaboration with Ernst Jandl resulted in a number of other radio plays in the following years, but she also began writing her own works. Often voiced by the author herself, these were produced together with directors such as Heinz von Cramer, Klaus Schöning, Ulrich Gerhardt and Götz Fritsch, and with composers including Gerhard Rühm, Mauricio Kagel and Pierre Henry. Back in 1969, when she was awarded the War Blinded Audio Play Prize for "Five Man Humanity", in an explanation of her expectations of the genre she commented that a radio play should "be acoustically satisfying, fascinating, appealing, i.e. the acoustic process must produce a very definite response in the listener, something that is not unlike the enjoyment of music, but that is triggered by words and noises instead of sounds."

Friederike Mayröcker has received many awards, including the Georg Trakl Poetry Prize (1977), the Else Lasker-Schüler Poetry Prize (1996) and the Georg Büchner Prize (2001). She was made an honorary citizen of the city of Vienna in 2015. The jury, chaired by Wolfgang Schiffer (former director of radio plays at WDR), paid tribute to Mayröcker's contributions to the genre. The panel felt that her own radio plays fulfil the requirements she set out in 1969, and that Mayröcker's "superior continuation of concrete poetry strikes an utterly unique pitch." The jury continued: "With plays such as 'The Embracement, After Picasso', her work has taught the sense of sound to see. And in the unique work of Friederike Mayröcker, that sense of sound has long since mastered the ability to sing."