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Per Nørgård awarded Germany's leading music prize

Danish composer Per Nørgård (b. 1932) has been awarded Germany’s leading cultural prize, the prestigious Ernst von Siemens Music Prize, in recognition of his lifelong contribution to music. The prize, which amounts to Euro 250.000, will be presented to Nørgård at Prince Regent Theatre (Prinzregententheater) in Munich on May 2. 

Coinciding with the prize, Dacapo Records will be presenting a new recording series of four Per Nørgård symphonies (nos. 2, 4, 5 and 6) by the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by John Storgårds. With the release of the two new albums, Dacapo Records will have a complete discography of all eight Nørgård symphonies, of which the latest won the prestigious Gramophone Award for Best Contemporary Recording in 2015.

83-years old Per Nørgård (c) Manu Theobald / Siemens Musikpreis

Apart from his eight symphonies, Per Nørgård’s musical output embraces all genres from chamber works to compositions for sinfonietta-sized groups and large ensembles, including five operas and music for films. He has also played a major role as an educator and teacher for several generations of Danish composers.

The concept of the ‘Infinity Row’ is Nørgård’s major theoretical idea. It is a mathematical principle applied to the creative process his of his writing, which has been ever-present in his works, from the early 1960s through to the present day. Infinity in music sparked Nørgård’s interest in composition at a very young age. To this day it is still what he focuses on when listening, writing and talking about music.

The organizers of the Siemens Music Prize praised Nørgård’s contemplative and intellectual approach to his composition: 

"Per Nørgård’s work is characterised by an unremitting curiosity. His urge to try new ideas and to rethink those that already exist continually alters his way of writing, all without ever losing or betraying his inner voice."

Per Nørgård’s reaction upon receiving the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize is one of deep gratitude:
"Receiving the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize is an honour. The appreciation for my work as a composer that is shown with this prize is truly heartwarming."

Read more and see Dacapo's full discography of Nørgård releases
About Ernst von Siemens Music Prize

Established in 1972, the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize is an annual accolade given by the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts on behalf of the Ernst von Siemens Foundation for Music. The prize honours a composer, performer or musicologist who has made a distinguished contribution to the world of music. The winner receives €250,000. Previous winners include Olivier Messiaen, Hans Werner Henze, Henri Dutilleux, Elliot Carter, Pierre Boulez, György Ligeti, and Wolfgang Rihm. The first Ernst von Siemens Music Prize was given to Benjamin Britten in 1974. Along with the main music prize several sponsorships are also given to younger composers and musicians.

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