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A Great Dane: Per Nørgård Awarded The Marie-Josée Kravis Prize for New Music

Posted June 12, 2014

Kravis Prize Per Norgard Alan Gilbert NY Philharmonic

At last night's concert, Music Director Alan Gilbert took the stage to make an exciting announcement: Danish composer Per Nørgård has been awarded The Marie-Josée Kravis Prize for New Music, one of the world's largest new-music prizes, which recognizes a composer for extraordinary artistic endeavor in the field of new music.

The prolific composer of 400+ works — including 8 symphonies, 11 concertos, 6 operas, 2 ballets, and 4 film scores including Babette's Feast — and inventor of the Infinity Series receives $200,000 plus a commission to write a work for the Philharmonic. Also announced: the Orchestra will give the U.S. Premiere of Nørgård's Third Symphony during the 2016 NY PHIL BIENNIAL. As previously scheduled: Alan Gilbert will lead Philharmonic musicians in Nørgård's music March 7, 2015, as part of next season's CONTACT!, the new-music series, at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

Check out The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal's coverage of the announcement, and hear his music from the Vienna Philharmonic's new Dapaco recording of his First and Eighth Symphonies.

We leave you with this thought from Karl Aage Rasmussen:

"The world according to Nørgård is not just a confusing host of random events; it is an enchanted place, full of things to discover when your mind and your senses are wide open — the endless connections and relations in nature, the infinite universe represented by any sound, no matter how modest. A composer must have an ear for the wonders of the audible world, and must be able to sense miracles where others hear only the buzz of everyday life. On a South Indian beach, listening to the surf from the enormous waves, Per Nørgård suddenly became aware of an extremely deep sound from the seas, a kind of 'shadow tone,' unchanging by day or night. And he asked himself: might this be the basic sound, the very fundamental of the ocean?"

(Photo by Chris Lee: Music Director Alan Gilbert (right) with Per Nørgård)