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Top prize for Boulez

75 year-old French composer Pierre Boulez has won the 2001 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Music Competition, for his chamber work Sur Incises (premièred at the 1998 Edinburgh International Festival).

Boulez studied with Messiaen at the Paris Conservatoire, and began to be noticed in the 1940s and 50s for experimental 12-tone music, often scored for electronic instruments. Boulez founded the Paris-based experimental music research centre IRCAM in 1974 and was its director from 1977-1992. Despite a considerable conducting schedule, Boulez still composes - Notations VII received its first performance in Chicago in 1999.

The Grawemeyer Award, with its US$ 200,000 prize, is considered the top prize, internationally, and uses a three level 'democratic' judging process. The foundation received more than 170 nominations for the 2001 award, from 25 countries. Recent winners include Thomas Adès (2000, for Asyla), Tan Dun (1998, for Marco Polo), Simon Bainbridge (1997, for Ad Ora Incerta -- Four Orchestral Songs from Primo Levi), Ivan Tcherepnin (1996, for his Double Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra), John Adams (1995, for his Violin Concerto) and Toru Takemitsu (1994, for Fantasma/Cantos for Clarinet and Orchestra).

Posted: 1 December 2000

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