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News - Hans Abrahamsen receives Sonning Music Prize 2019 at celebratory concert April 26

Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Hans Abrahamsen receives the prestigious Sonning Music Prize 2019 at a celebratory concert on April 26 7.30 pm in the Concert House, DR Byen, Copenhagen, where some of his masterpieces will be performed: The award winning song cycle let me tell you sung by soprano Barbara Hannigan, his piano concerto for left hand Left, alone with soloist Tamara Stefanovich and Abrahamsen’s orchestration of Claude Debussy’s cherished piano suite Children’s Corner. All pieces are performed by Danish National Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Michael Schönwandt.

The Léonie Sonning Music Prize is recognized as Denmark's highest musical honour and was first awarded in 1959 to composer Igor Stravinsky. Each year the prize is awarded to an internationally acknowledged composer, musician, conductor or singer. The prize amounts to €100,000. 

Hans Abrahamsen tells about his works being performed at the prize concert

The celebration of Hans Abrahamsen will not be limited to April 26 – on the contrary, the prize concert will only be the main event of a mini festival with music by Abrahamsen held in Copenhagen and Aarhus: 


Winternacht • Märchenbilder • Schönberg/Abrahamsen: Lieder op. 2 • Piano Concerto • Schnee
Barbara Hannigan, soprano • Manuel Esperilla, piano • Athelas Ensemble • ensemble recherche • Thomas Søndergaard, conductor
String Quartet no. 1 • 10 Studies for Piano • Traumlieder • 10 Preludes (String Quartet no. 1) 
Nordic String Quartet • Jens Elvekjær, piano • Trio con Brio

let me tell you • Debussy/Abrahamsen: Children's Corner • Left, alone 
Barbara Hannigan, soprano • Tamara Stefanovich, piano • Danish National Symphony Orchestra • Michael Schönwandt, conductor

Walden • Landscapes • Herbstlied • Six Pieces • Ravel/Abrahamsen: Le Tombeau de Couperin • Schumann/Abrahamsen: Kinderszenen • Satie/Abrahamsen: Trois Gymnopedies • Nielsen/Abrahamsen: Fantasy Pieces op. 2 • Nielsen/Abrahamsen: Three Piano Pieces op. 59.
Esbjerg Ensemble • Ensemble MidtVest  

Works and arrangements by Hans Abrahamsen
Nordic String Quartet • Esbjerg Ensemble • Ensemble MidtVest • Ensemble Storstrøm

Hans Abrahamsen will be the first Danish composer since Per Nørgård to receive the prize. He says: “I am extremely honored to receive the Léonie Sonning Music Prize - such a great international honour - as a recognition of my works. To receive a prize of this amount gives me peace and the possibility to work and allows for the concentration that is needed to create music. It can also result in very specific things, as earlier prizes have made it possible for me to rebuild our garage into studio for composing. I am honoured to receive the prize, happy for the recognition and glad that the music is being heard.“

As Hans Abrahamsen’s publishers we are happy to congratulate him on receiving the Léonie Sonning Music Prize, and we look forward to an exciting 2019 which, among other things, offers the premiere of Abrahamsen’s opera The Snow Queen in Copenhagen October 2019 and in Munich December 21 2019.

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