Rhinegold Photo credit: Benjamin Ealovega

Katy Wright

Deputy Editor, Classical Music

Watkins wins Lincoln Center prize

4:54, 25th January 2017

Huw Watkins has been awarded the Lincoln Center’s Elise L. Stoeger Prize.

The award is presented every two years to those who have made significant contributions to the field of chamber music composition. Previous recipients include Oliver Knussen, Thomas Adès, Kaija Saariaho, Jörg Widmann and Thomas Larcher.

Chamber Music Society artistic directors David Finckel and Wu Han stated that the jury members were united in their admiration of Watkins’ work, praising it as ‘fresh and emotionally gripping, beautifully crafted and endlessly lyrical’.

Finckel and Han added: ‘He won their full endorsement and we agree that Watkins, as a composer of immense talent, is well suited to join the illustrious ranks of his predecessors.’

‘For as long as I can remember, chamber music has been central to my life,’ Watkins said. ‘To be chosen for this prize by the Chamber Music Society is a huge honour – the list of previous Stoeger Prize recipients is indeed an illustrious one – but it is also an inspiration for me to keep writing the music I love most of all.’

Watkins’ upcoming projects include a symphony to be premiered by the Hallé Orchestra and Sir Mark Elder on 20 April; a new song cycle for soprano Ruby Hughes for 2017/18; a new piano quintet commissioned by the Chamber Music Society for 2018/19; and a new orchestral work for the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, with whom Watkins is composer-in-association.

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