Highly acclaimed Italian ensemble Quartetto di Cremona is the recipient of the Franco Buitoni Award 2019, comprising £25,000 and a specially commissioned glass sculpture, entitled Suono, made by Venice-based artist Ritsue Mishima. Created by BBT founder Ilaria Borletti Buitoni in honour of her late husband Franco (1934-2016), the Award is announced on his birthday, 17 March, and is for Italian musicians who promote and encourage chamber music at home and throughout the world. The presentation will take place on 16 April when the quartet is in Milan for a performance at Società del Quartetto.

Ilaria Borletti Buitoni comments: “I decided to create this award in memory of my husband who loved music so much and who founded BBT with me in 2002. Lieder and chamber music were his special passion and something he also promoted in the role of director of Amici della Musica in his home town of Perugia. So I wanted to focus on Italy for this second award – with Italian musicians who promote and encourage chamber music in Italy and throughout the world. I very much admire Quartetto di Cremona and all they do. They have developed a wonderful reputation worldwide since 2005 when we awarded them a BBT Fellowship.”

Quartetto di Cremona’s viola player Simone Gramaglia comments: “We are so honored to receive this recognition thanks to Ilaria’s enlightened sensitivity and vision. We know how much Franco did for music and how he loved it. It will be a special pleasure for us to honour Franco’s passion for chamber music as we continue to promote and encourage it in Italy and throughout the world.”

The inaugural Franco Buitoni Award was given two years ago to Marta and György Kurtág in recognition of their lifelong contribution to music. They were nominated by BBT founding trustee and friend to Franco and Ilaria, Mitsuko Uchida.

BBT presented its first awards to young musicians in 2003 and, since then, has proudly supported more than 100 musicians and ensembles all over the world.


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