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Per Nørgård awarded prestiguous New Yorker Prize

Danish composer Per Nørgård has been awarded the prestiguous Kravis Prize of USD 200.000 by the New York Philharmonic, which is at the same time commissioning a new orchestral work by the composer

Last night the American symphony orchestra the New York Philharmonic announced at a concert in Avery Fisher Hall, New York, that this year’s Marie-Josée Kravis Prize for New Music is to be awarded to the Danish composer Per Nørgård. Nørgård is to receive the prize for his “extraordinary artistic contribution to new music” and his “enduring contribution to the orchestral literature” by a committee consisting of leading artists and administrators who have close ties to the New York Philharmonic.

The prize amounts to $200,000 as well as the commissioning of a new orchestral work for $50,000, which Per Nørgård is to write for the New York Philharmonic. The orchestra will also give the first performance of the composer’s Third Symphony in the USA in 2016, while selec­ted members of the orchestra will perform music by Nørgård in a concert at the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art next spring.

New York visit with new CD

When the 81-year-old Per Nørgård meets the American press in New York over the next few days to talk about the Marie-Josée Kravis Prize, the composer can at the same time present a new CD that appeared in the USA the day before the presentation. It is the premiere recording of his latest symphony by another of the world’s leading symphony orchestras, the Vienna Phil­har­monic, which with the new CD has for the first time ever recorded new Nordic music and is thus arousing attention in international music circles.

During his New York visit Nørgård, besides the New York Philharmonic’s prize presentation in Avery Fisher Hall, will among other things be the focus of attention at a lunch in the residence of the Danish Consul General, where a number of New York’s leading cultural personalities will be attending – including the couple Henry and Marie-Josée Kravis, who are behind a number of major donations in American cultural life.

Drive and inspiration”

The Chief Conductor of the New York Philharmonic, Alan Gilbert, says on behalf of the election committee:

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.

Nørgård’s oeuvre embodies the curiosity, drive, and inspiration that we wanted to support through this prize, made possible by the generosity and commitment of Henry R. and Marie-Josée Kravis.”

Read more on New York Philharmonic's website 

Per Nørgård. Foto: Lars Skaaning

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