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Sofia Gubaidulina Receives the “Golden Lion”

The 55th Biennale di Venezia has announced that the Russian composer Sofia Gubaidulina has been awarded the “Golden Lion” in 2013 for her life's work. In addition, the director Romeo Castellucci was awarded another “Golden Lion” in category of theatre. The ceremonial presentation of this renowned prize to Sofia Gubaidulina will take place on 4 October 2013 at the Teatro alle Tese. Following the presentation, in honour of the composer, the Italian premiere of Sofia Gubaidulina`s percussion concerto “Glorious Percussion” will be given with Les Percussions de Strasbourg and the Orchestra de La Fenice.

In previous years, the prize has been awarded to the following personalities of international musical life: Goffredo Petrassi (1994), Luciano Berio (1995), Friedrich Cerha (2006), Giacomo Manzoni (2007), Helmut Lachenmann (2008), György Kurtág (2009), Wolfgang Rihm (2010), Peter Eötvös (2011) and Pierre Boulez (2012).

The director of the “Biennala di Venezia“, Ivan Fedele, states the following in the explanatory statement:
“The Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement awarded to Sofia Gubaidulina acknowledges the outstanding artistic and human value of a woman who, because of her non-conformist aesthetic choices, has always had to struggle against the political power of the USSR which did not hesitate to define her music as ‘irresponsible’. Nevertheless, she was able to count on the support and patronage of Dmitry Shostakovich, who encouraged her to continue down what had been defined as a ‘mistaken path’. In 1979, she was blacklisted by the VI Congress of the Composers of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics because of her membership in a group of dissident musicians and her participation in festivals that had been condemned by the regime. Despite these enormous difficulties, Sofija Gubajdulina continued to express herself with extreme coherence and freedom, offering the entire world pages of highly inspired music permeated by a spirituality that is both delicate and incandescent, and has brought her fame and admiration around the world.”


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