YAM Nominees

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Since 2010 the YAMawards have celebrated excellence in the field of live music experiences for young audiences by identifying and promoting the best musical productions for kids and youth from all around the world. 

The YAMA nominees 2018 have been chosen from more than 60 incredible submissions from 27 countries. After intense deliberation, the international YAMA juries have nominated the following 11 productions:


Bach in the Street.jpg

Category: Best small ensemble


Bach in the Street


With its mesmerising staging and its use of musical juxtaposition, Bach in the Street explores concepts from cultural identity and people displacement to life and death in a format that is simultaneously serious and light-hearted.

This production presents both musical and cultural fusion. On stage, solo violin music meets blasted hip-hop and urban street dance. The interaction between Semmy Stahlhammer (First Concert-Master of the Royal Swedish Orchestra and Bach specialist) and Maele Sabuni​ (award winning street dancer and Sweden Eurovision performer) is dynamic and captivating for audiences of all ages.

The two virtuoso performers also represent a fusion of cultures. Both are the Swedish-born children of refugees (Semmy’s heritage is Jewish​, Maele’s Congolese) and the production investigates what it means to escape and then find refuge, to plant roots in new soil, to find one’s own place and to grow through art and culture.

Pepe&Speedy Photo (ByJuliaWesely).jpg

Category: Best small ensemble.

Artists and producer: Christoph Pepe Auer & Manfred Temmel




In a musical journey, Pepephon Jazz musicians Christoph Pepe Auer and Manfred Temmel use guitars, clarinets, saxophones and their home-made pepephone in a playful exploration of sounds, rhythms and melodies. During this process the audience experiences sound-worlds ranging from joyful, fast-paced gypsy jazz through to celestially melodic songs; from intoxicatingly groovy rhythms through to swinging waltzes.


They play their own compositions as well as arrangements and excerpts from pop, jazz and classical music and focus on the first-hand joy of playing, the creative usage of the instruments, and on an interactive musical exchange with the audience.


Category: Best small ensemble



Maputo - Mozambique


Maputo - Mozambique critiques certain rituals and African artistic practices. The work model that the musicians put in place allows jugglers to express their musical singularity and the creation of their music is based in an improvised technique of manipulating objects, juggling, singing, music and dance. It creates a real freedom of interpretation, with the audience left to figure out the meaning.





Klopotec Orkestra

Category: Best small ensemble




Hans Beckers creates fabulous sound installations. For his new project Klopotec Orkestra he went to an old enchanted house in a Norwegian fishing village, Kråkeslottet. The man who lives there collects magnificent pieces of driftwood crafted by the sea before being abandoned on the shore. With this wood, Hans Beckers built a remarkable orchestra of klopotecs: windmills fitted with blades that long ago warned off Slovenian vine snakes.

Amidst his windmill orchestra, Hans Beckers forms a dialogue with Teun Verbruggen, a percussionist who has earned his spurs with jazz stars as Mélanie de Biasio and Jef Neve Trio. Together, they transform the Klopotec Orkestra into a visual and auditory spectacle that will rattle, drum and astound as a colourful shadow play.


Shadow music


Category: Best Large Ensemble



When a young boy goes to sleep, his room comes to life. Shadows appear from underneath his bed and trees are growing along the walls.

Between all of those magical and scary things, the boy sees something beautifully reddish shooting by. He walks into this wonderfully sounding world, where monsters try to keep him away from their most precious secret. Does the boy overcome his fear? Does he know how to beat the shadows?

The starting point for Shadow music is the famous piece Verklärte Nacht by Arnold Schönberg. In this staged concert without words the piece is made accessible for young ears in a visual and poetic way.

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Rêvant le carnaval des animaux


Category: Best Large Ensemble



This is a piece based on the music of Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune. composed by Claude Debussy and Le carnaval des animaux, composed by Camille Saint-Saëns.

Rêvant le carnaval des animaux brings to life the orchestral concert experience, with invasions of humour, poetry and acting. The musicians not only play the music, but impersonate the animals described by the music, adding a whole new dream-like dimensions to the concert experience.




Category: Best Large Ensemble



Iberia is a visual concert based on the corresponding piano cycle from the Spanish composer Isaac Albeníz. Karin Schäfer created an impressive world full of imagery to accompany this magnificent music, to which there are also several orchestral covers. She takes inspiration from numerous works of fine art and, with the help of her ensemble, transforms these masterpieces into moving pictures.

Screenshot_2018-10-09 Students stage ope

A Shoe Full Of Stars

United Kingdom

Category: Best Opera



A Shoe Full of Stars follows the journey of Splodge, an ordinary teenager who, after a terrorist attack, suddenly finds himself on a bizarre, magical island where conflict is bubbling up everywhere, and nothing is as it seems.

“In a world where everyone wants to talk over each other, it’s the listeners who have the power to change everything...”

Composer Omar Shahryar, writer Ed Harris and director Ruth Mariner worked together with secondary school students from North Huddersfield Trust School and two professional opera singers to co-create the most pertinent story, music and artistic vision to sensitively engage teenagers with the challenging subject of terrorism and its effects. The project was planned with the guidance of the Active Change Foundation, a world-leading extremist-prevention charity best known for starting the #notinmyname campaign.


Tout Neuf!


Category: Best Opera



Tout Neuf! (“All New!”) is a lyrical poem for all audiences starting from 2 years of age. This musical onomatopoeia performance reaches every single individual in the audience, whatever their age or cultural background. It was created especially for kids, making sure they are able to understand the plot. Tout Neuf has been performed for audiences in kindergartens, schools or for families in France and other countries around the globe.



United Kingdom

Category: Best Opera

Producer: Glyndebourne


Belongings is the latest youth opera to be specially commissioned by Glyndebourne’s pioneering education department and premiered on its main stage.It was composed by Lewis Murphy, Glyndebourne’s most recent Young Composer-in-Residence, with a libretto by Laura Attridge. This work marked the culmination of Lewis’s three year residency.

Belongings explores the experiences of young people forced by war to flee their homes. The opera juxtaposes the story of a group of WWII evacuees, travelling from London to Lewes to escape the Blitz, with a present day tale of a group of refugee children fleeing various war-torn locations.




Category: Best Opera



Three inventors are creating the ultimate invention: an engine that can run on nothing but water!

Uitvinders asks the question: what happens to your ideals when you’re in need of money or tempted by fame?

Three inventors have great ambitions to change the environment of our world. They’ve almost created an engine that will run on nothing but water, but their money is running out. The army is very interested and the General orders his soldiers to buy their plans. One inventor is tempted, but the other two stick to their principles. Being famous and rich is fun, but they want to create a better world.

An opera full of slapstick, explosions and a mysterious machine, a youth opera suitable for everyone 7 years and up.

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