It is with great joy that I receive the Kravis Prize for New Music. To be the recipient of such an honorable and prestigious prize leaves me feeling profoundly grateful. Thank you to the administrators of The Marie-Josée Kravis Prize for New Music and to the New York Philharmonic.Alan Gilbert, the Philharmonic's music director and a member of the award's selection committee, commented:
It has been a pleasure and an honor for us to bestow Per Nørgård with The Marie-Josée Kravis Prize for New Music at the New York Philharmonic, given to a composer for extraordinary artistic endeavor in the field of new music. Today there is a great variety of important compositional voices, and the committee enjoyed exploring the sounds and contributions of a wide range of creators. Nevertheless, our decision was unanimous.The Philharmonic will give the US premiere of Nørgård's Symphony No. 3 as part of the second NY Phil Biennial in 2016 and Philharmonic musicians will perform his music in the 2014–15 season of CONTACT!, the Philharmonic's new-music series, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Per Nørgård, one of the grand figures in Scandinavian music, stands out among the general field of international contemporary music. His compositions couple intellectual rigor with expressive urgency, and span a wide variety of genres, with eight symphonies, several concertos, six operas, and two ballets among his orchestra scores alone. The power of his expression has also crossed media, leading to the creation of evocative and masterful film scores. It has been fascinating to trace the unique path he has forged, which has included his invention of the Infinity Series — his own fresh approach to serialism.
One of the world's largest new-music prizes, the Kravis Prize for New Music is awarded every two seasons, and includes $200,000 and a commission to write a work for the New York Philharmonic. In alternating years, when no prize is given, the Orchestra names the Kravis Emerging Composer, who receives a $50,000 stipend and a commission. Funding for the Kravis Prize comes from a $10 million gift given to the New York Philharmonic in 2009 by Henry R. Kravis in honor of his wife, Marie-Josée, for whom the prize is named.