Anna Thorvaldsdottir wins CHANEL Next Prize 2024

Anna Thorvaldsdottir wins CHANEL Next Prize 2024
Winners of the CHANEL Next Prize 2024: Top (left to right) Tolia Astakhishvili, visual artist; Davóne Tines, singer and creator; Anna Thorvaldsdottir, composer; Dalton Paula, visual artist and educator; Ho Tzu Nyen, visual artist. Bottom (left to right) Fox Maxy, filmmaker and visual artist; Sam Eng, game developer; Oona Doherty, choreographer; Kantemir Balagov, filmmaker; Moor Mother, poet and musician.
© CHANEL Next Prize 2024

“[Thorvaldsdottir] has carved her own corner in contemporary music by creating symphonic works of sustained brilliance”
– The Times

“Thorvaldsdottir's natural instrument is the symphony orchestra, but in her hands it is reborn as a natural organism.”
– The Guardian

Composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir has been selected as one of the ten winners of the CHANEL Next Prize, the second edition of the House’s international arts and culture prize, announced today by the CHANEL Culture Fund. Jurors of the 2024 edition include actress Tilda Swinton, artist Cao Fei, and curators Legacy Russell and Hans Ulrich Obrist.

The biennial prize is awarded to ten international contemporary artists who are redefining their chosen discipline. Each artist embodies CHANEL’s mission to advance the new and the next. Each of the ten prize winners will receive 100,000€ in funding, allowing them to fully realize their most ambitious artistic projects.

The NEXT Prize was established in 2021 as part of the CHANEL Culture Fund, CHANEL’s global initiative to accelerate the ideas that advance culture, extending the House’s century-long legacy of cultural patronage.

Yana Peel, the Global Head of Arts & Culture at CHANEL, says: “The CHANEL Next Prize was founded to amplify the work of artists who are making a difference and redefining their discipline. Each is a catalyst and a pioneer. Each is disrupting established practice in their field, from art and opera to cinema and game design. Watching their creative journeys will be thrilling.”

Anna Thorvaldsdottir comments: “It is such an honor to receive the CHANEL Next Prize from this iconic and monumental institution. It is a true pleasure to be one of the awarded artists in this wide-ranging recognition of various art forms from around the world. The prize shines an important and distinctive light on diverse fields within the arts and shows unequivocal commitment to the support of the arts and culture into the future."

Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s “seemingly boundless textural imagination” (The New York Times) and "riveting" (The Times) sound world has made her “a leading voice in contemporary music” (The Guardian). Her music is composed as much by sounds and nuances as by harmonies and lyrical material – it is written as an ecosystem of sounds, where materials continuously grow in and out of each other, often inspired in an important way by nature and its many qualities, in particular structural ones, like proportion and flow. “Thorvaldsdottir is incapable of writing music that doesn’t immediately transfix an open-eared listener,” reports The New York Times.

Anna’s 2023-2024 season (September 2023 to June 2024) includes performances of her music across at least twenty-one countries, including Iceland, England, Ireland, China, the United States, Canada, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Switzerland, Slovenia, Hungary, Luxembourg, Chile, Mexico, and Spain. Her current schedule is available on her website.

This season also brings the world premiere of Anna’s major new installation piece METAXIS by the Iceland Symphony Orchestra on June 1, 2024 at Harpa, part of the opening celebration of the 2024 Reykjavík Arts Festival and of the festival's collaboration with Harpa and the ISO. Anna describes METAXIS as, “an installation for deconstructed orchestra and space.” Audiences will have the unique opportunity to explore the music from different perspectives, as they wander through Harpa’s iconic foyer and feel how their experience of the music changes with every step. The musicians will be spread out over the different levels of the building, blending together in myriad ways and creating a unique sound world with innumerable textures. The piece is half an hour in length and will be conducted by Eva Ollikainen.

Anna’s music is widely recorded, and all of her orchestral works are available on the Sono Luminus label. Most recently, Sono Luminus released Anna’s latest portrait album, ARCHORA / AIŌN, which was recorded by the Iceland Symphony Orchestra conducted by Eva Ollikainen. The album was chosen as one of the best of 2023 by The Boston Globe, NPR, and The New York Times. The label’s previous releases include CATAMORPHOSIS as part of the album Atmospheriques in 2023; METACOSMOS in 2019; AERIALITY, originally released by Deutsche Grammophon in 2014 and re-released in a remastered version on Sono Luminus in 2022; and Dreaming, originally released on a portrait album by Innova Recordings in 2011 and re-released on Sono Luminus in 2020.

Anna’s work is frequently performed internationally and has been commissioned by many of the world’s leading orchestras, ensembles, and arts organizations, including the Berlin Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Danish String Quartet, International Contemporary Ensemble, BBC Proms, and Carnegie Hall. Anna’s “detailed and powerful” (The Guardian) orchestral writing has garnered her awards from the New York Philharmonic, Lincoln Center, the Nordic Council, and the UK’s Ivors Academy.

Composer-in-Residence with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra 2018-2023, Anna was in 2023 also in residence at the Aldeburgh Festival and the Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music. She holds a PhD from the University of California in San Diego, and is currently based in the London area. The music of Anna Thorvaldsdottir is published by Chester Music, part of Wise Music Group.

About the CHANEL Culture Fund
Extending a century of commitment to the arts, the CHANEL Culture Fund fosters a vibrant network of creators and innovators to advance the ideas that shape culture worldwide.

Core programmes include CHANEL’s Art Partners, institutions whose leaders seek to collaborate on ground-breaking, long-term initiatives that bring innovation to the cultural landscape. The CHANEL Next Prize celebrates artists and accelerates their future successes through access to resources and mentorship. And the podcast CHANEL Connects amplifies the voices of thought-leaders across disciplines, generations, and geographies—tackling the defining issues of our time.

From emerging curators at the MCA Chicago to leading ecologists at the Leeum Museum of Art in Seoul, from game-changing artists at the Venice Biennale to the brightest directors at the British Film Institute, the CHANEL Culture Fund champions creative audacity for a better future.

CHANEL Next Prize 2024 


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