YAMawards 2021: Announcing the Winners

28 Oct, 2021

The 19th of October marked the 12th edition of the YAMawards, the international music awards that honour creativity and innovation in Young Audiences Music productions.

YAM (Young Audiences Music) is an international platform dedicated to bringing live music to children and youth worldwide (20,000+ concerts held annually) as well as providing support to professionals in this space. YAM places the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child* at its core, working to ensure access to music and culture as a basic human right for every young person and child.

Since the YAMawards launched in 2008, only the best of the best in Young Audiences Music productions have prevailed. The level of craft, depth of storytelling and passion inherent to each finalist and winner, a testament to what it takes to truly engage and inspire young minds. And this year was no different.

This year’s YAMawards had 6 distinct categories, each with its own winner:

  • Best Small Ensemble for Young Audiences
  • Best Large Ensemble for Young Audiences
  • Best Opera for Young Audiences (Powered by RESEO)
  • Best Participatory Project with Young Audiences
  • Public Choice Award (selected from the top 4 nominees in each category, by public vote)
  • Best Digital Production for Young Audiences

Responding to the lack of live music and the rise of everything digital, the YAMawards added, in fact, a new exciting category in 2021: Best Digital Production for Young Audiences, which aimed to celebrate those creators who took to the challenge that the pandemic has presented, creating outstanding artistic works that opened up spaces for young minds who were in lockdown.

Meet the 2021 winners

Introducing the best of the best in Young Audiences Music productions for 2021 selected from over 60 submissions from 26 different countries:


Production: Petit Concert à l’Aube
Producer: Compagnie la Bulle à Sons
Country: Belgium

Small concert in the Aube: After "Concertino pannolino", concert for babies before the march, the company Bulle à Sons invites children from 2.5 years old, to live a musical journey from dawn to dusk where proximity is the priority. Feeling the vibrations of the cello, the breaths of the flautist, moving to the rhythm of the udu ... a generous moment that unequivocally plunges us into the world of the two musicians and makes our ears grow!


Production: Disconcerto
Producer: Orthemis Orchestra
Country: Spain

DISCONCERTO is a delight for audiences of all ages with classical music, physical theatre and slapstick comedy. Following the success of their previous work, Jordi Purtí and the Orthemis Orchestra are back with a brand-new show that puts an innovative spin on your run-of-the-mill concert experience: the musicians remain on their feet the entire time to act out non-stop on-stage sketches! The Catalan chamber orchestra welcomes audiences of all ages back into the world of classical music. This unforgettable experience, jam-packed with whimsy and humour, will get spectators’ hearts beating to the rhythm and character of the physical theatre, while the classically-trained musicians and the virtuosity of their performance leave everyone in awe.


Production: Hush - Henry’s dream machine
Producer: Zonzo Compagnie
Country: Belgium

Via a miniature version of an old theatre, they dive into the world of Henry Purcell. While Henry observes the spectacle as an air spirit, a singer opens the gates to the imagination. She whisks you away into dream images or ‘masques’ that Purcell created for the theatre. We hear echoes of Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream and The Tempest, King Arthur is present and Queen Mary's music sounds until HUSH reverberates and we are silenced. An accordionist and a lutenist let the music of Purcell shine in unique arrangements. With melodies and chords, they take you through the baroque landscape of the seventeenth-century composer.


Production: Utopera: der letzte tag (The last day)
Producer: Wiener Staatsoper
Country: Austria

The participatory youth opera "Der Letzte Tag" (The Final Day) tells the story of a future dystopian society in the year 2084 that has ignored all warnings, outrages, and protests from the past (2021) by the young generation and continued to take its course without consciously facing the crises, driving blindly and lazily towards its doom and downfall. In this future setting, the only society members that are left are narcissistic, nihilistic, selfish, or naive ”all be good” people. Now, it's the 11th of June 2084, they come together for the last time to celebrate the final day, the end of the world!


Production: Noisy Neighbours
Producer: Zonzo Compagnie
Country: Belgium

Together with Stijn Grupping, Ine Van Baelen and a diverse gang of children and musicians, Zonzo Compagnie filmed the first swinging series: Noisy Neighbours. Apartment blocks somewhere in a city, somewhere in a country. Children seemingly live on their own, or did the parents just leave, or are they sleeping? The only thing we know is that their neighbours are musicians. You might not expect it, but these children do exactly what all the others do: brush their teeth, wash their hands, eat their sandwiches, and don't forget to pee. Only, with their daily actions, they also control the rhythm of their neighbours. When the light switches on, the trumpeter has to blow. When they iron their pants, the double bass player's bow follows. The children whisper notes through the walls, compose with light, conduct by eating chocolate mousse. A surreal world where every day has its own score.


Production: Disconcerto
Producer: Orthemis Orchestra
Country: Spain

For all the awards action and jury commentary you can still access the YAMawards livestream recording here: YAMawards 2021 Ceremony

The YAMawards are brought to you by JM International in partnership with RESEO supported by the Creative Europe Programme and BELSPO.

Follow all the YAMawards news:

YAMawards Website: https://yamawards.org/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/youngaudiencesmusic Instagram: @youngaudiencesmusic Hashtag: #YAMawards2021

Alternatively, if you have any queries, you can email the YAMawards team at: info@yamawards.org

*UN Convention on the Rights of the Child:

Article 13 - 1. The child shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of the child's choice.
Article 31 - 2. States Parties shall respect and promote the right of the child to participate fully in cultural and artistic life and shall encourage the provision of appropriate and equal opportunities for cultural, artistic, recreational and leisure activity.