Hubert von Goisern Culture Award 2022 winners

Alicia Edelweiss

Alicia DannerEven her name cleverly refers to the form and content of Alicia Danner's music: her stage name is Alicia Edelweiß. Yet the ridiculous alpine cliché that is certainly associated with the name of the flower is quickly and quirkily cast out. It's easy to hear that the originality of the name can easily, even casually stand up to the originality and freshness of her music. Charm, courage and wit complement each other to form a mixture that scratches and brushes reluctantly against the clutter of traditional and yet always envelops itself in the world-embracing warmth of the accordion. Memories of the raw wildness of the New York anti-folk movement are evoked as she skilfully plays with hints of the sounds of the Alps in her free-spirited way. Nothing is provincial, everything plays out in a big, wide world that pays no heed to borders, especially not when it comes to Danner showing her theatrical streak in not just her songs, but her unusual outfits too, with a touch of variety show. Poetry and pop, weird folk and jazzy playfulness, fairytale forest and art song unite in a confession of the strange, characterised by an irrepressible desire – and talent – for absolute independence.

Ingrid Hofer

Ingrid HoferGetting deaf and hearing children to dance – that is Ingrid Hofer's idea. She was born in 1976 in Lustenau and has been involved in various artistic projects for many years. For this project, she developed her first CD of children's songs, Teddy Eddy – Achtung! Fertig! Los! into a dance and movement DVD – translated into Austrian sign language. It's a pilot project that is unparalleled in the deaf community. Hofer says modestly that her project should "simply bring joy". And yet it does far more than that. It promotes awareness of a topic that is too often ignored. The steadfastness with which Hofer, from Vorarlberg, sticks to her project is impressive. The way in which she manages to focus on the fringes of society is just as admirable. The fringes do not mean those living with hearing impairments, but children in general. They are – as Covid 19 has shown – often and very quickly pushed out to the edge, but it is precisely this edge from which the future grows. In the spirit of an inclusive society, Ingrid Hofer creates for this future with her work and inspiration. She creates opportunities to take part in a programme that is artistic, entertaining and playfully educational.

Marcus Hinterberger

Marcus HinterbergerFrom nothing comes nothing, even if Marcus Hinterberger from Pinzgau, born in 2000, appeared out of nowhere and immediately became a veritable hero in the world of social media. He did it with a blues, one that cut like a scalpel into a wound laid open by the Covid 19 pandemic, particularly in Austria. With Ischgl Blues he denounced the excesses of tourism. Then he took on the catastrophe of Austrian regional planning with the Bürgermeister Blues. Hinterberger, an audience favourite from his very first song at FM4's Protest Song Contest – and thus a powerful mouthpiece for a young generation – draws from a world that is beginning to falter and is dangerously off kilter. Hinterberger does not want to accept this. His songs are inspired by a spirit of resistance against a society in which the business of a few is prioritised over the common good. All he needs is his guitar - with clear, simple words, he continues the tradition of the protest song. The student of theatre and film direction now wants to find like-minded people on an extensive trip around the world, and gather musical voices of protest from other countries for an album.

Dear HvG Culture Award 2022 applicants ...

The decision has been made and once again this year there are many of you, who undoubtedly deserved to be awarded, but who have missed out. But it would not help anyone if we spread the award too thin. The jury had to decide and, after studying all 135 applications in detail, chose the three candidates who best met their expectations.
Thank you, on behalf of the entire jury, for the numerous exciting and diverse applications. Keep working on your dreams and visions. With best wishes for a wonderful and musical summer, I remain,


Hubert von Goisern

Hubert von Goisern Culture Award Ceremony 2022

29 May 2022 | Photos: © Felicitas Fuchs

On 27 May 2022 Hubert von Goisern welcomed guests to the fifth presentation of his Culture Award. The award, which is endowed each year with €15,000, was founded in 2018 to help nurture the creativity of artists in the field of music. This year three winners were lauded at the event at Das Zentrum in Radstadt: Marcus Hinterberger, Alicia Edelweiss and Ingrid Hofer.

Before the presentation of the handcrafted trophies and certificates, master of ceremonies Helmut Jasbar spoke to Hubert von Goisern about what motivated him to found the award and his experiences thus far. "I want to make a contribution towards supporting talents," said Goisern, "and to support artists who have something to say and are passionate about something."

Elisabeth Schneider introduced the first award winner, Ingrid Hofer. The singer-songwriter gave an insight into her work with deaf children, singing Kleiner Stern, a goodnight song from her second album of children's songs. Not just Ingrid's performance, but the entire ceremony was accompanied by sign language interpreters Sabine Höller and Anna Huber to ensure an evening without barriers.

Guitarist and singer-songwriter Marcus Hinterberger was presented to the audience by Margarethe Hlawa-Grundner. The topical protest songs of this young talent had caught the attention of the jury and on stage in Radstadt he performed not just the Ischgl Blues and Bürgermeister Blues with which he had already earned recognition, but also the as yet unreleased song Woat.

The final laudation of the evening was given by Günter Huemer for "freak folk" singer-songwriter Alicia Edelweiss, who had recently returned from performing at The Great Escape Festival in the UK. Two songs from her album When I'm Enlightened, Everything Will Be Better and a cover of Tom Waits' Innocent When You Dream formed her showcase as well as the finale to the celebration of the Culture Award 2022.

Goisern award-winner Marcus Hinterberger: "What upsets me are all the injustices"

Salzburger Nachrichten 28 May 2022 | Text: Bernhard Flieher

Marcus Hinterberger from Saalbach, a protest singer that swims against the current, is one of three Hubert von Goisern award winners this year. A conversation about homeland and its necessary critiques.

Pinzgau resident Marcus Hinterberger found fame two years ago with his Ischgl Blues. This year he received the Hubert von Goisern Culture Award, along with Alicia Edelweiss, a courageous, genre-jumping songwriter, and Ingrid Hofer from Vorarlberg, an artist with social concerns, who has founded a dance and music project for deaf and hearing-impaired children in sign language. This year, the awards "for the advancement of talent and perseverance and for outstanding commitment and achievement in music" were presented at a new location during the Paul Hofhaimer Festival in Radstadt.

What significance does the Hubert von Goisern Culture Award have for your very young career?

I'm unbelievably happy about this award and the trust Hubert von Goisern and the jury have in me, particularly when you consider that I have far fewer "works" to show for myself than many other applicants. For this very reason I feel all the more motivated, to keep working with the backing of this award, and to keep addressing topics that move me and my generation, even if it goes against the grain for some.

How important is support like this? Is there a particular project that you will be financing with it?

My family and friends support me in my projects as far as they can, and I'm very grateful for that. On top of that, it is a great honour to have such a great and experienced voice behind me. Many people in our society could learn a lesson from the way in which Hubert von Goisern supports young artists. In times of crisis, art gives us the opportunity to process the intangible things, to draw on them, to find sense – and that must be preserved.

I submitted a project for the award that I've been wanting to bring to life for a long time; a project I want to work on after I finish my studies. I'm planning a musical journey of discovery - searching for likeminded artists in other cultures. What particularly interests me is the backgrounds of musical forms of protest and how they are brought to life in other countries. Bit by bit, I want to put together an international album of world music, which I'll record during my journey, as well as podcasts and videos to document it all. In times of senselessly contested borders, music that knows no borders can create meaning.

You're 22-years-old. When you were born, the Goiserer's his first career was already over and he had just started playing music again. Do you know his music? How did you discover the Goiserer's music?

His songs have cult status in Austria and I think they're great! However, I found his process, his style of creating something new even more interesting. His projects, whether the Danube ship project, or his country-crossing albums, are a great inspiration to me. He always had the courage to reinvent himself, to break new ground without ever conforming – and I really value that about him.

Do you see a connection between yourself and the Goiserer's music?

At the beginning of his career in particular, Hubert von Goisern was also vilified by many people from his homeland, because he broke new ground and because they mistook his criticism of the homeland for hate of the homeland. Just like me, Hubert von Goisern deals with his homeland in many of his songs, because it's close to his heart. I think we both write our songs with a lot of gut feeling, because something has deeply moved us and we're serious about it – I think people can feel that.

"Home" plays an import role for Hubert von Goisern, as a contrast to "foreign". You consider your homeland critically with both of your blues songs. What upsets you most about your homeland?

I want to say first of all: my homeland doesn't upset me! What upsets me are all the injustices that take place in my homeland and that make our region less liveable. Only a handful of people are responsible, but their influence extends across entire valleys and nobody dares to say anything. Politics comes into it, giving them the opportunity to do this, and it reacts much too slowly to legal grey areas. It annoys me that things are only seen as black and white and my generation is offered no alternative. It annoys me that there are families who can't afford to buy a house in a valley full of beds, and meanwhile people are scraping together missing millions for a skiing world championship. It's not a criticism of my homeland, but a criticism of the decision-makers and is intended to give courage to a generation for whom so much is still unclear.

And what is the positive?

We live in one of the most beautiful regions in the world! The clean air, the clear water and the diverse natural world are privileges that other countries could only dream of. I still think it's incredible that it's our place of birth in this world that determines poverty or wealth. And so I think we, the ones who are able to live in this paradise, are the ones who must do everything we can to preserve this wealth of nature. And of course, my friends and family too. That's what home means to me: being surrounded by people who make you feel comfortable and for me that's not tied to a specific place.

From whence came the drive to vent this anger through music?

I've always worked through things that moved me with humour and incorporated this humour into my songs. In spite of all the annoyances, you have to stay positive and not become entrenched. My songs live by the motto "He who laughs agrees", which often proves fatal to my critics.

Ischgl Blues, Bürgmeister Blues, what's next?

At the beginning of June we'll be filming the diploma film for my studies – an alpine grotesque – which will be out in the autumn. Before that I want to release Tinder Blues as the finale to my blues trilogy, a ballad about a world that's becoming ever faster and flooded with consumption.

You're studying theatre and film directing. What role will music play for you in the future?

I'm certain that music will always accompany me, everything began with it two years ago. But I also feel very happy in theatre and film and I would like to have a broad approach in the future. I recently read something that Viggo Mortensen said, which really touched me: "To be an artist, you don't have to compose music or paint or be in the movies or write books. It's just a way of living. It has to do with paying attention, remembering, filtering what you see and answering back, participating in life."

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