Tuesday 19 March 2024

Venice's Golden Lion: composer Rebecca Saunders receives Lifetime Achievement award from the Biennale Musica

Rebecca Saunders (Photo: Johannes List)
Rebecca Saunders (Photo: Johannes List)
Berlin-based British composer Rebecca Saunders has been awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement of the Biennale Musica 2024 (the musical arm of the Biennale di Venezia). 

The award ceremony will be on 27 September 2024 in the Sala delle Colonne at Ca’ Giustinian, the headquarters of La Biennale, during the 68th International Festival of Contemporary Music (26 September - 11 October 2024).

Saunders received the award for "the refined sophistication of her research and her compositional intentions, for the attention she dedicates to the sonic microcosm, for her capacity to create a private listening area within the listener, an intimate inner acoustic space that evolves and amplifies the sonic imaginary. The composer conceives a specific temporality for each work which becomes an investigation into and experimentation with the experience of listening. Her elaboration of the sonic material is profoundly speculative and at the same time powerfully empirical and material, tied to the performance and the playing strategies" [from citation]

Rebecca Saunders studied composition with Nigel Osborne in Edinburgh and Wolfgang Rihm in Karlsruhe, and in 2019, she became the first woman to receive the Ernst-von-Siemens award. Saunders' piano concerto, To An Utterance was premiered in 2021 by the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra, at the Lucerne Festival with pianist Nicholas Hodges [see my 2020 interview with Nicholas], and she was composer in residence with the Dresdner Philharmonie for 2021/2022.

Full details from the Biennale website.

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