Rebecca Saunders wins Ernst von Siemens prize7:30, 17th January 2019
The 2019 international Ernst von Siemens prize has been awarded to British composer Rebecca Saunders.
The award is given for lifelong service to music and is accompanied by a prize of 250,000 euros.
Previous winners include Benjamin Britten, Olivier Messiaen, György Ligeti, Claudio Abbado, Sir Harrison Birtwistle, György Kurtág, Daniel Barenboim, Anne-Sophie Mutter and Mariss Jansons. Saunders is the first female composer to win the prize.
The presentation ceremony will be held on 7 June at the Prinzregententheater in Munich.
The Board of Trustees described Saunders’ work as leaving a ‘visible and meaningful mark on contemporary music history through its astonishingly nuanced attention to timbre, and her distinctive and intensely striking sonic language’.
Saunders has previously described her work as ‘an attempt to create and sculpt sounds drawn from beneath a surface of apparent silence.’
A ‘portrait’ concert celebrating her work is performed by Ensemble Modern and soprano Juliet Fraser at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on 19 January 2019.