Hans Abrahamsen

Friday, February 2, 2018

The composer Hans Abrahamsen to receive the Léonie Sonning Music Prize 2019

Honorary Professor at The Royal Danish Academy of Music receives the most important music prize in Denmark

Hans Abrahamsen is the 16th composer to be awarded the Léonie Sonning Music Prize. Before him, the prize has been awarded to, among others, Igor Stravinskij (1959), Dmitri Shostakovich (1968), György Ligeti (1990), György Kurtág (2003), Kaija Saariaho (2011) and most recently Thomas Adès (2015).

Hans Abrahamsen is also the 5th Dane to be awarded the Léonie Sonning Music Prize following Mogens Wöldike (1976), Per Nørgård (1996), Michala Petri (2000) and Lars Ulrik Mortensen (2007).

Composer Hans Abrahamsen will receive the Léonie Sonning Music Prize 2019 at a concert to be held on 26 April 2019 at the DR Concert House. The Léonie Sonning Music Prize amounts to EUR 100,000. The prize concert will be the main event of a mini festival with music by Hans Abrahamsen at concerts in Copenhagen, on Thursday, 25 April 2019 at The Royal Danish Academy of Music with chamber music performed by Nordic String Quartet, Jens Elvekjær, piano, and Trio con Brio.

Hans Abrahamsen was born in 1952. He played the horn when he was young and was admitted to The Royal Danish Academy of Music in 1969. Here, his interest in composition and music theory was aroused, and during the 1970’s, Hans Abrahamsen wrote his first significant works. 

In the orchestral work, Nacht und Trompeten, Hans Abrahamsen was recognised on the international music scene. In the 1990’s, Hans Abrahamsen underwent a composition crisis, but with the completion in 1998 of 10 Studies for Piano and Concert for Piano and, Hans Abrahamsen was revived as a composer. 

A large number of the world’s leading orchestras and conductors have played Hans Abrahamsen’s music, including: The Berlin Philharmonic, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Cleveland Orchestra and Boston Symphony Orchestra. Hans Abrahamsen has also received a number of prizes. The most significant include the Carl Nielsen Prize in 1989 and in 2016 both the Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition for Let me tell you and the Nordic Council Music Prize for Let me tell you.

Hans Abrahamsen has previously been associated with RDAM as Associate Professor in composition and instrumentation, and has recently been appointed Honorary Professor of composition at The Royal Danish Academy of Music.

Read more on www.sonningmusik.org

Photo: Lars Skaaning