Pierre Boulez, the Helen Regenstein Conductor Emeritus of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, has won the Bach Prize 2015, presented by the city of Hamburg, Germany.
The Bach Prize, which carries a monetary award of 10,000 euros to the honoree, has been given every four years since 1951 to “an exceptional composer of our time.”
“Pierre Boulez is one of the foremost exponents of contemporary music; his compositions are as influential for modern music as his conducting,” said German senator Barbara Kisseler in a statement issued Feb. 26 to announce the honor. With his works, Boulez has succeeded in combining “rationality with impressionistic poetry,” she said.
The Bach Prize is the latest in a long series of awards to the French composer-conductor, who turns 90 on March 26. Among his recent honors are the 2009 Kyoto Prize, the 2012 Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement from the Venice Biennale, the Cleveland Orchestra’s 2013 Distinguished Service Award and a 2015 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Previous winners of the Bach Prize have included Paul Hindemith (1951), Ernst Krenek (1966), György Ligeti (1975), Alfred Schnittke (1992), Sofia Gubaidulina (2007) and Tan Dun (2011).