The Marie-Josée Kravis Prize for New Music Awarded to Unsuk Chin

The Marie-Josée Kravis Prize for New Music Awarded to Unsuk Chin

The Marie-Josée Kravis Prize for New Music at the New York Philharmonic, which recognizes a composer for extraordinary artistic endeavor in the field of new music, has been awarded to South Korean composer Unsuk Chin. One of the world's largest new-music prizes, the Kravis Prize includes $200,000 and a commission to write a work for the New York Philharmonic. Ms. Chin's new orchestral work will receive its World Premiere by the Philharmonic in a future season. Funding for the Kravis Prize comes from a $10 million gift to the New York Philharmonic in 2009 by Henry R. Kravis in honor of his wife, Marie-Josée, for whom the Prize is named. Past Prize winners include Henri Dutilleux, Per Nørgård, and Louis Andriessen.

Unsuk Chin said: "I am deeply honored to have been bestowed with The Marie-Josée Kravis Prize for New Music, having such great respect and admiration for my predecessors and for the New York Philharmonic. Working with this exceptional orchestra for the first time some years ago, I immediately felt at home, both musically and personally, feeling such a close connection and such an intriguing sense of adventure with these wonderful musicians. I hugely admire the New York Philharmonic's commitment to new composers and I am thrilled to have a chance to collaborate with them on a new work of mine."

"It is important that leading orchestras like the New York Philharmonic shine a light on the music of our time, and I am grateful to the Kravises for making it possible for us to do so through this significant prize," said Music Director Jaap van Zweden. "Unsuk Chin's musical language speaks with unique color and poetry, and we at the New York Philharmonic look forward to sharing the musical worlds she creates."

"The Marie-Josée Kravis Prize for New Music demonstrates the New York Philharmonic's long-term and growing commitment to celebrating the music of our time," said President and CEO Deborah Borda. "Our ability to extend this substantial award and, through it, to champion today's composers is only possible because of Henry and Marie-Josée Kravis's remarkable generosity and commitment to our art form. Unsuk Chin has emerged as a powerful, original musical voice of our time, and the Philharmonic is honored to welcome her as one of the many contemporary composers who are joining the Orchestra's family."

"I am so pleased that the New York Philharmonic has awarded the Prize to Unsuk Chin, whose music shimmers and transports," said Marie-Josée Kravis. "The imagery of her music, the dreams it evokes, deserve this recognition. I look forward to hearing her next creation, and hope that her music continues to be heard in New York and around the world."

The New York Philharmonic has performed three works by Unsuk Chin, beginning in April 2013 with the well-received US Premiere of Gougal?n: Scenes from a Street Theater, named one of New York Magazine's "10 Best Classical Performances of the Year." This performance prompted the Philharmonic to co-commission her Clarinet Concerto, which Kari Kriikku performed with the Philharmonic in its US Premiere at the 2014-15 opening subscription program. The Philharmonic co-presented her Fantaisie mécanique at the 2016 NY PHIL BIENNIAL, when it was performed by the Ensemble of the Lucerne Festival Alumni.

In December 2011 the inaugural Kravis Prize for New Music was awarded to Henri Dutilleux (1916-2013), who shared the proceeds with three composers - Anthony Cheung, Franck Krawczyk, and Peter Eötvös - each of whom was commissioned to write a work for the Orchestra. The Philharmonic gave the World Premiere of Anthony Cheung's Lyra in June 2014; the World Premiere of Peter Eötvös's Senza sangue in Cologne on tour, and its US Premiere in New York City in May 2015; and the World Premiere of Franck Krawczyk's Après in April 2016, all conducted by Alan Gilbert. The second Kravis Prize was awarded in June 2014 to Per Nørgård, who shared the proceeds of his award with his former student and fellow Danish composer Bent Sørensen, whose Evening Land the Philharmonic premiered in November 2017, led by Edo de Waart. The third Kravis Prize was awarded to Louis Andriessen in November 2016, resulting in the World Premiere of his Agamemnon in October 2018, conducted by Music Director Jaap van Zweden. The premiere was part of the three-week-long The Art of Andriessen.

Along with the Kravis Prize, the Orchestra has previously named two Kravis Emerging Composers, who receive a $50,000 stipend and a commission. Sean Shepherd was named the 2012 Kravis Emerging Composer, which led to the commission and premiere of Songs in June 2014, led by Alan Gilbert. Anna Thorvaldsdottir was named the second Kravis Emerging Composer in June 2015, leading to the World Premiere of Metacosmos in April 2018, led by Esa-Pekka Salonen. A third Kravis Emerging Composer will be announced at a later date.

Unsuk Chin was born in 1961 and has lived in Germany since 1985. She studied with Sukhi Kang in Seoul and with György Ligeti in Hamburg. Her music has attracted the attention of international conductors including Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Kent Nagano, Gustavo Dudamel, Alan Gilbert, Myung-Whun Chung, Susanna Mälkki, David Robertson, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Leif Segerstam, Markus Stenz, Hannu Lintu, Peter Eötvös, Jakub Hr?ša, George Benjamin, Marc Albrecht, Kazushi Ono, and François-Xavier Roth. Ms. Chin's career has been celebrated with a series of new-music awards, which so far include the 1985 Gaudeamus Award, the 2004 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition for her Violin Concerto, the 2005 Arnold Schoenberg Prize, the 2010 Prince Pierre Foundation Music Award, the 2012 Ho-Am Prize, the 2017 Wihuri Sibelius Prize, and, now, The Marie-Josée Kravis Prize for New Music at the New York Philharmonic. She has been composer-in-residence of the Lucerne Festival, Festival d'Automne, Stockholm International Composer Festival, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Cologne Philharmonic's Eight Bridges festival, São Paulo Symphony, Casa da Música, BBC Symphony's Total Immersion Festival, Melbourne Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, and many others. In 2007 Ms. Chin's first opera, Alice in Wonderland, received its World Premiere at the Bavarian Staatsoper, opening the Munich Opera Festival. Portrait CDs and DVDs of Ms. Chin's music have appeared on the Deutsche Grammophon, Kairos, Unitel, and Analekta labels. Regularly commissioned by leading performing organizations around the world, her music has been performed by the New York Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, and Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, among others. Unsuk Chin has also been active as a concert curator, overseeing the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra's Ars Nova series (which she founded) from 2006 to 2017 and serving as artistic director of the Music of Today series at London's Philharmonia Orchestra since 2011. Her works are published exclusively by Boosey & Hawkes.

Henry and Marie-Josée Kravis have long been generous supporters of new music at the New York Philharmonic. In 2009 they made a gift of $10 million to the Orchestra, endowing The Marie-Josée Kravis Prize for New Music at the New York Philharmonic; The Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence position; the Kravis Nightcap series, inaugurated in the 2018-19 season; and The Marie-Josée Kravis Creative Partner position, also inaugurated this season by Nadia Sirota. This gift supported the commissioning of Louis Andriessen's Agamemnon (October 2018); Anna Thorvaldsdottir's Metacosmos (April 2018); Bent Sørensen's Evening Land (November 2017); Franck Krawczyk's Après (April 2016); Peter Eötvös's Senza sangue (May 2015); Christopher Rouse's Thunderstuck (October 2014); Sean Shepherd's Songs (June 2014); Anthony Cheung's Lyra (June 2014); Christopher Rouse's Symphony No. 4 (June 2014) and Prospero's Rooms (April 2013); and Magnus Lindberg's Piano Concerto No. 2, written for Yefim Bronfman (May 2012), Al Largo (June 2010), Souvenir (in memoriam Gérard Grisey) (November 2010), and EXPO (September 2009). Before extending this gift, Mr. and Mrs. Kravis supported the Philharmonic's commissioning / co-commissioning of six compositions: Peter Lieberson's The World in Flower (May 2009); Marc Neikrug's Quintessence (March 2008); Bernard Rands's CHAINS LIKE THE SEA (October 2008); Esa-Pekka Salonen's Piano Concerto (February 2007); Augusta Read Thomas's Gathering Paradise, Emily Dickinson Settings for Soprano and Orchestra (September 2004); and Stephen Hartke's Symphony No. 3 (September 2003).

The New York Philharmonic connects with up to 50 million music lovers annually through live concerts in New York and around the world, broadcasts, recordings, education programs, and the Leon Levy Digital Archives. Jaap van Zweden became Music Director in September 2018, succeeding titans including Bernstein, Toscanini, and Mahler. The Orchestra has commissioned and / or premiered works by leading composers from every era since its founding in 1842, including Dvo?ák's New World Symphony, John Adams's Pulitzer Prize-winning On the Transmigration of Souls, and Wynton Marsalis's The Jungle (Symphony No. 4); in 2018-19 Jaap van Zweden leads World Premieres by Ashley Fure, Conrad Tao, Louis Andriessen, Julia Wolfe, and David Lang. Maestro van Zweden and the Philharmonic welcome New Yorkers to Phil the Hall, new this season; the Concerts in the Parks, Presented by Didi and Oscar Schafer; Philharmonic Free Fridays; and the famed Young People's Concerts.

For more information, visit nyphil.org/kravis.

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