Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Cecilia Bartoli wins the Polar Music Prize

The title means it comes from Sweden.  In prior years this prize has been awarded to classical singers only twice:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Renée Fleming.'

'The Polar Music Prize 2016 is awarded to the mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli from Rome, Italy. With a vocal range of three octaves and a unique ability to live a role with fullness of expression, Cecilia Bartoli has developed song as an art form. Cecilia Bartoli has spellbound audiences in the world's great opera houses, but is not content with the well-known repertoire. She has also dug deeply into the history of music and presented long-lost music from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries that is completely new to today’s audiences. Cecilia Bartoli adds new chapters to the history of music, builds bridges between centuries and deepens our understanding of Europe's cultural heritage. Cecilia Bartoli shows us that raised voices can change the world.'

Eight of the previous classical winners have been composers.

1993 Witold Lutosławski Poland " of the pioneers of contemporary European art music."
1996 Pierre Boulez France "...His profound musicality, clear intelligence and unusual farsightedness have enabled him to act in a wider field than the great majority. Thus he has occupied the forefront as composer, interpreter/conductor and eminent theorist, and he has made unique contributions as a debater and source of ideas."
1999 Iannis Xenakis France "...for a long succession of forceful works, charged with sensitivity, commitment and passion, ... exercising within its various fields an influence which cannot be readily overstated."
2001 Karlheinz Stockhausen Germany "...for a career as a composer that has been characterized by impeccable integrity and never-ceasing creativity, and for having stood at the forefront of musical development for fifty years."
2002 Sofia Gubaidulina Russia "...whose intensely expressive and deeply personal musical idiom has the ability to speak to an ever-growing audience of listeners all over the world."
2004 György Ligeti Austria "...for stretching the boundaries of the musically conceivable, from mind-expanding sounds to new astounding processes, in a thoroughly personal style that embodies both inquisitiveness and imagination."
2007 Steve Reich United States "...The award recognises his unique ability to use repeats, canon technique and minimal variation of patterns to develop an entire universe of evocative music, endowed with immediate tonal beauty."
2013 Kaija Saariaho Finland "...Kaija Saariaho combines acoustic instruments with electronics and computers. She has written chamber music, orchestral works and operas. Kaija Saariaho is a modern maestro who opens up our ears and causes their anvils and stirrups to fall in love."

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