Hans Abrahamsen wins Nordic Council Music Prize 2016 for let me tell you

Hans Abrahamsen wins Nordic Council Music Prize 2016 for let me tell you
© Lars Skaaning
The Danish composer Hans Abrahamsen has won the Nordic Council Music Prize 2016 for his work let me tell you for soprano and orchestra. The work was commissioned by Stiftung Berliner Philharmoniker with the support of Danish Arts Foundation and is written to a text by Paul Griffiths with words taken from Ophelia’s lines in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Barbara Hannigan has already performed the song cycle 25 times since the world premiere in December 2013, and let me tell you has also received the Grawemeyer Award 2016 and the Royal Philharmonic Society Award for Large Scale Composition in 2015. The recording on the Winter & Winter label with Hannigan, conductor Andris Nelsons and the WDR Symphoniorchester also received the Gramophone Award for Contemporary Music 2016.

At the prize ceremony on November 1 at the Koncerthuset in Copenhagen, the adjudicators commented: ‘The work can be understood on many levels and conveys substance and refinement throughout its fragile but deftly handled textures’.

The Nordic Council Music Prize is a prestigious award with nominees from all Nordic countries and from different music genres. The prize consists of 350.000 Danish kroner. Previous recipients of the Nordic Council Music Prize from among Music Sales composers include Sunleif Rasmussen, Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen, Peter Bruun, Rolf Wallin, Bent Sørensen, Jouni Kaipainen and Kaija Saariaho.

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