Henri Dutilleux Awarded Royal Philharmonic Society Gold Medal
Monday, March 17, 2008
Presentation to be made Wednesday 2 April, Wigmore Hall.
The nonagenarian French composer Henri Dutilleux has been awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society [RPS] Gold Medal, one of the most prestigious honours in classical music.
Conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier will present Henri Dutilleux with the medal on Wednesday 2 April at the Wigmore Hall following a concert by the Nash Ensemble which includes the world premiere of a revised version of the composer’s atmospheric cycle of instrumental ‘snapshots’ Mystère de l’instant, written for the conductor Paul Sacher, as well as his Diptyque for four players incorporating ‘quotations’ from Benjamin Britten and Jehan Alain, and his poetic string quartet Ainsi la nuit.
The RPS Gold Medal was initiated in 1870 to commemorate the Centenary of Beethoven's birth and bears the effigy of Beethoven. It is awarded for the most outstanding musicianship. Fewer than 100 medals have been presented in the intervening years. Current Gold Medal recipients include: Claudio Abbado, Janet Baker, Pierre Boulez, Alfred Brendel, Elliott Carter, Colin Davis, Placido Domingo, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Bernard Haitink, Charles Mackerras, Simon Rattle, Joan Sutherland and most recently Daniel Barenboim, who was presented with his Gold Medal at the Royal Festival Hall earlier this year.
Commenting on the award, Graham Sheffield, RPS Chairman said:
”Henri Dutilleux has consistently produced work at the very highest level throughout his long composing career, holding steadfastly to his compositional principals and resisting the merely fashionable to create a distinctive and powerful language that is never simplistic. His music deals with the issues of our day, but remains timeless, and its gentle sincerity makes it communicate at every level. His example has become a role model for a new generation of young composers who have found in his music an open-mindedness that engages them by its warmth and individuality. Henri Dutilleux stands for lucidity, sincerity and clarity of utterance, and these are qualities that the Royal Philharmonic Society recognizes and salutes.”