The RUTH World Music Prize

No one really knows how its name came about, not even those who originally launched the RUTH World Music Prize. It might have been an acronym for Rudolstadt and Thuringia, it could just as well have been an allusion to the English word ‘roots’ – or perhaps both! What’s undebatable is RUTH’s significance for the Rudolstadt Festival. The winners’ concert is a highlight every year and the programme would be inconceivable without it.

The handmade RUTH trophy was first awarded in 2002. Ever since, it has been presented annually for outstanding achievements by outstanding musicians based in the German-speaking countries. Accordingly, the award figures highly in the identity and the public perception of world music in Germany. RUTH also helps emphasize the particular qualities of the genre compared to pop, rock, jazz or classical music.
In order to reflect the particular circumstances in Germany as well as the expectations of artists and audience, RUTH is awarded in four different categories:

The Main Prize – For artists who have raised the bar in recent years through their music

The Advancement Award – For artists whose careers are still in their infancy and deserve special support or who are working on new projects with mould-breaking originality

The Honorary Award – For services rendered to world music by individuals or institutions

The Festival Award – Special award from the festival team

The RUTH German World Music Prize is presented by radio station MDR Kultur (on behalf of other public broadcasters), the backers of the creole Global Music Contest, and the Rudolstadt Festival. The awards ceremony and the prize-winners’ concert take place every year during the festival on the first Saturday of July.

The jury this year
Tiago de Oliveira Pinto (chair)
Simone Dake (Rudolstadt-Festival)
Ulrich Doberenz (Rudolstadt-Festival)
Peter Eichler (MDR)
Gereon Schoplick (creole)