Kaija Saariaho wins Sonning Prize
Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho, 57, will receive the Léonie Sonning Music Prize 2011, which carries with it a cash award of DKK 600,000 (roughly EUR 80,600).
One of the most outstanding contemporary composers, Saariaho has won almost all significant international composition prizes from the Grawemeyer Award (2002) to the prestigious Wihuri Sibelius Prize (2009), which she used to buy a new Steinway grand piano last autumn.
”After receiving this prize, I may occasionally get the opportunity to compose at a more tranquil pace”, Saariaho comments, speaking from Lyons, where she is following the rehearsals of her new opera Émilie, which will have its world premiere at the Lyons Opera on March 1st.
”I am especially happy about a Nordic accolade. My music is not so well known in the Nordic countries as it is elsewhere in Europe, or for example in the USA. With the exception of Finland of course”, Saariaho notes.
The Léonie Sonning Music Prize will be awarded to Kaija Saariaho in connection with a concert on Thursday May 5th 2011 at the DR Concert Hall in Copenhagen, with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra conducted by John Storgårds.
The Léonie Sonning Music Prize, recognized as Denmark's highest musical honour, is given annually to an internationally acknowledged composer, musician, conductor, or singer. It was first awarded in 1959 to composer Igor Stravinsky.
Laureates are now selected by the directors of The Léonie Sonning Music Foundation, which was founded in 1965.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Kaija Saariaho is the first woman to win the Wihuri Sibelius Prize (20.10.2009)
Ondine Records Saariaho CD wins Midem Classical Award (21.1.2009)
Kaija Saariaho awarded 2008 Nemmer Composition Prize (3.4.2008)
Musical America names Kaija Saariaho Composer of the Year (14.11.2007)
Léonie Sonning Music Foundation press release
Kaija Saariaho on Ondine Records
Kaija Saariaho (Wikipedia)
Finnish Music Information Centre: Kaija Saariaho