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All shall have prizes – it’s Simon Rattle’s turn

The very-slowly-outgoing Berlin Phil chief – he leaves in 2018 – was in Denmark at the weekend to collect a cheque. It was for 80,000 Euros and it came wrapped as the Leonie Sonning Music Prize, an annual event.

One political cartoonist thought it was for having the biggest hair. The columnist seemed to agree.

Next year’s Sonning prize goes to a clarinet player*. Biggest teeth, I guess.


*PR blurb just in: The clarinettist Martin Fröst has been announced as the next recipient of the Léonie Sonning Music Prize, one of the oldest and most prestigious music awards in the world. Since 1959, the Danish Sonning Music Prize has been presented to the leading musical personalities of their day, includingIgor StravinskyLeonard BernsteinDmitri ShostakovichMstislav RostropovichMiles Davis,Alfred BrendelKeith Jarrett and Isaac Stern. Martin Fröst is, besides Birgit Nilsson (1966) andEric Ericson (1991), the only Swede to receive this international award. 

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  1. Toss Can Eeny says:

    80 thousand smackers – that is truly better than a poke in the eye with a burnt baton. Should run to a BMW 5 series with leather upholstery and the 3 liter twin turbo diesel, mabe even a blonde to match. Remote control extra.

  2. Toss Can Eeny says:

    Yes, I find it distasteful that this foundation awards big money to someone who already has a large salary, pension rights, status and all the trappings. They should divide the prize into 4 and award the portions to promising and talented younger conductors/musicians who are fighting for decent-paying positions.

  3. Thought I should inform everyone that Rattle announced at the official event concert (in which he performed Sibelius’ 7th, Nielsen 4th and a double concerto by Hans Abrahamsen with the Royal Danish Orchestra) that all the money from the award is going straight to a new Berlin Phil. Academy program for conductors – “New” is not quite correct, since he’s already instated a young british conductor/composer in that capacity.
    The money should be sufficient to sustain the program for at least 3-4 years. Rattle quipped that in Germany, once something has been done more than two years in a row, it’s an unbreakable tradition, so he’s hoping that the program will continue to recieve funding when his Sonning money runs out.

    Here’s a link to the entire concert:!/

  4. I’m sure he’ll give it away. Can he really not drive? What a dork.

    His decision to wuss out of Berlin was pathetic. Karajan gave them a good decade of grief before he knocked off.

  5. It would be nice if he donated the amount to various music education projects, especially perhaps those which are under threat in the UK.

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