"A great writer and important radio play writer"

Hommage to Günter Eich Prize laureate Friederike Mayröcker

Leipzig, 4 September 2017. Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig has awarded the "Günter Eich Preis" 2017 to the Austrian author Friederike Mayröcker. The prize is endowed with 10,000 euros. The laureate will be honoured with a hommage during the Foundation's Summer Party on 7 September 2017 at the Media Campus Villa Ida. "Due to her age, Friederike Mayröcker has long been reluctant to undergo long travels. So, she cannot participate in our award ceremony in Leipzig. We pay honour to this great author of radio plays with this hommage," explains Stephan Seeger, Managing Director of Media Foundation and Director Foundations of Sparkasse Leipzig. Accordingly, the homage will take place at 5.45 pm on the Media Campus "Villa Ida", before the traditional Summer Party of Media Foundation will be officially opened.

Presenter Thomas Bille will lead through the event and talk to Wolfgang Schiffer, jury chairman and longtime radio play director of West German broadcasting WDR, and jury member Linde Rotta, partner of Erich Loest and co-initiator of the radio awards of Media Foundation. The hommage will be recorded and broadcasted by MDR Kultur on 11 September (10 pm) together with the Mayröcker radio play "Die Umarmung, nach Picasso" ("The Embrace, after Picasso").

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. The jury paid tribute to Mayröcker’s contributions to the genre: “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.”

The "Günter Eich Prize", awarded by Media Foundation of the Sparkasse Leipzig, honours German speaking authors who have dedicated an oeuvre of content and formal competence to the radio-genre radio play. It is awarded in annual change with the "Axel Eggebrecht Price" for German speaking radio feature authors.

2017 - Günter Eich Prize