The prestigious 2011 Léonie Sonning Music Prize will be awarded to Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho. Since its inception in 1959, the Léonie Sonning Music Prize has established itself as a paramount event in Danish music life. The prize is awarded annually to an internationally acknowledged composer, musician, conductor or singer.
Kaija Saariaho © Priska Ketterer Saariaho will be presented with the award at a concert on May 5, 2011 at the DR Concert Hall in Copenhagen, with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra conducted by John Storgårds. In addition, a Saariaho concert will be held on May 4, 2010 at The Black Diamond in Copenhagen, with the Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhagen conducted by Pierre André Valade.Saariaho is the eleventh composer who has been awarded the Léonie Sonning Music Prize – and the second female composer. Previous laureate composers include Stravinsky, Lutoslawski, Britten, Sjostakovitj, Messiaen, Boulez, Ligeti, Nørgård, Gubaidulina, Kurtág and Arvo Pärt. Saariaho has received several honors and prizes for her music: in 2000 Saariaho received the Nordic Council Music Prize for the work Lonh; in 2003, she received one of the most coveted composition awards in the world, the American Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition; also the Prix Italia, Musical America Composer of the year 2008. On receiving the award, Kaija Saariaho states:
I am very happy to receive the Sonning Music Prize, and honored to follow those prestigious predecessors. I am especially glad that this honour comes from a Nordic country, as I feel that my music is not there as much - except in Finland – compared to other European countries or North America.May 4 2010, The Black Diamond, CopenhagenComposer portrait of Kaija Saariaho Die Aussicht (1996) Je sens un deuxième cœur (2003) Solar (1993) Miranda's Lament (1997) L'Aile du songe (2001) Camilla Hoitenga, flute Signe Asmussen, vocal Kaija Saariaho, sound engineer Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhagen Pierre André Valade, conductor May 5 2011, DR Concert Hall, Copenhagen Saariaho: Adriana Songs for mezzo soprano and orchestra Saariaho: Laterna Magica (premiered in September 2010 by the Berliner Philharmoniker and Simon Rattle) Stravinsky: The Firebird Lilli Paasikivi, mezzo soprano The Danish National Symphony Orchestra John Storgårds, conductor Previous Winners1959 Igor Stravinsky, composer 1965 Leonard Bernstein, conductor and composer 1966 Birgit Nilsson, soprano 1967 Witold Lutoslawski, composer 1968 Benjamin Britten, composer 1969 Boris Christoff, bass 1970 Sergiu Celibidache, conductor 1971 Arthur Rubinstein, pianist 1972 Lord Yehudi Menuhin, violinist 1973 Dmitri Shostakovich, composer 1974 Andrés Segovia, guitarist 1975 Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, baritone 1976 Mogens Wöldike, conductor 1977 Olivier Messiaen, composer 1978 Jean-Pierre Rampal, flutist 1979 Dame Janet Baker, mezzo soprano 1980 Marie-Claire Alain, organist 1981 Mstislav Rostropovich, cellist 1982 Isaac Stern, violinist 1983 Rafael Kubelik, conductor 1984 Miles Davis, composer and jazz musician 1985 Pierre Boulez, composer and conductor 1986 Svjatoslav Richter, pianist 1987 Heinz Holliger, oboist and composer 1988 Peter Schreier, tenor 1989 Gidon Kremer, violinist 1990 György Ligeti, composer 1991 Eric Ericson, conductor 1992 Sir Georg Solti, conductor 1993 Nikolaus Harnoncourt, conductor 1994 Krystian Zimerman, pianist 1995 Yuri Bashmet, violist 1996 Per Nørgård, composer 1997 András Schiff, pianist 1998 Hildegard Behrens, soprano 1999 Sofia Gubaidulina, composer 2000 Michala Petri, recorder player 2001 Anne-Sophie Mutter, violinist 2002 Alfred Brendel, pianist 2003 György Kurtág, composer 2004 Keith Jarrett, jazz pianist 2005 Sir John Eliot Gardiner, conductor 2006 Yo-Yo Ma, cellist 2007 Lars-Ulrik Mortensen, harpsichordist 2008 Arvo Pärt, composer 2009 Daniel Barenboim, pianist and conductor 2010 Cecilia Bartoli, mezzo soprano Please click here for more News