During the concert on June 11, 2014, Music Director Alan Gilbert took the stage to announce the recipient of The Marie-Josée Kravis Prize for New Music at the New York Philharmonic: Per Nørgård. The honor recognizes a composer for extraordinary artistic endeavor in the field of new music, and is one of the world’s largest new-music prizes, consisting of $200,000 and a commission to compose a work for the New York Philharmonic. On behalf of the Selection Committee, Mr. Gilbert said:
“It has been a pleasure and an honor for us to bestow Per Nørgård with The Marie-Josée Kravis Prize for New Music at the New York Philharmonic, given to a composer for extraordinary artistic endeavor in the field of new music. Today there is a great variety of important compositional voices, and the committee enjoyed exploring the sounds and contributions of a wide range of creators. Nevertheless, our decision was unanimous.
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. We salute them for their vision, which has allowed us to shine a spotlight on today’s composers, celebrating their courage and imagination in establishing new sounds and vocabularies that enrich our lives.”
The New York Philharmonic will give the U.S. Premiere of Mr. Nørgård’s Symphony No. 3 in 2016 during the second NY PHIL BIENNIAL. This follows a performance by Philharmonic musicians of Mr. Nørgård’s music on CONTACT!, the Philharmonic’s new-music series, in a program featuring contemporary Nordic composers, March 7, 2015, conducted by Music Director Alan Gilbert at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The inaugural Kravis Prize was awarded in the 2011–12 season to Henri Dutilleux (1916–2013), who shared the proceeds of the Prize with three composers – Anthony Cheung, Franck Krawczyk, and Peter Eötvös – each of whom would write a work for the Orchestra to premiere. Sean Shepherd was named the 2012 Kravis Emerging Composer. The New York Philharmonic gives the World Premieres of Anthony Cheung’s Lyra June 11–14, 2014, and Sean Shepherd’s Songs June 18–21, 2014; Mr. Eötvös’s Senza sangue will receive its World Premiere in Cologne, Germany, on the Orchestra’s EUROPE / SPRING 2015 tour, and its U.S. Premiere in New York City May 8–9, 2015.