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German Music Authors’ Prize 2017: Lifetime Achievement Award for Sofia Gubaidulina

Another major honour for Sofia Gubaidulina. On 30 March 2017, the GEMA (Society for musical performing and mechanical reproduction rights) will honour the Russian composer at the 9th presentation of the German Music Authors’ Prize for her life’s work.

The Music Authors’ Prize has been awarded since 2009 to composers and text authors for the quality of their works. This year, too, the awards presentation will be taking place in Berlin (Ritz-Carlton).

The following can be read in the press release of the GEMA:

“When I received the news that I was found worthy of receiving the German Music Authors’ Prize 2017 for my life’s work, I was delighted and infinitely grateful,” said Sofia Gubaidulina about the award. “At the outset of my compositional activity in the Soviet Union, I could never have imagined in my wildest dreams that my oeuvre would one day achieve such international recognition. I feel highly honoured, for I value GEMA most highly. Their work makes an essential contribution to the fact that creative activity in our society always finds the recognition that it deserves.”

For this year’s jury, Sofia Gubaidulina is the “Grande Dame” of composition: “In her works, profound religiosity is combined with the Far Eastern culture that she so admires. The occupation with traditional folk instruments is found alongside scores for the large classical orchestra. The Russian musical tradition has been further developed by her into a universal language of faith. Her life’s work is confessional music to a high degree, always existential and absolutely essential in each second.”

Prof. Dr. Enjott Schneider, Supervisory Chairman of the GEMA, has this to say about the decision of the jury: “With Sofia Gubaidulina, we honour a Russian cosmopolitan living in Germany since 1992 whose music, celebrated around the world, is truly capable of penetrating into the depths of our hearts: not through kindness, but through an austere, woodcut-like strictness, utterly free of compromise, of economy transformed into beauty. There is nothing superfluous here, no superficial ornaments; each tone is expression and shock. Her life, fulfilled by spirituality, proves itself to be absolutely congruent with her scores.”

Copyright of the photo: F. Hoffmann / La Roche Ltd.


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