Kyoto Prize 2009: Composer Pierre Boulez honoured for his life’s work
The prize-winners have been selected
19 June 2009
Kyoto/Neuss – The Kyoto Prize, alongside the Nobel Prize one of the world’s highest honours for the lifetime work of outstanding personalities in culture and science, is being awarded this year to the composer Pierre Boulez, the evolutionary biologists Dr Peter Raymond Grant und Dr Barbara Rosemary Grant as well as to Dr Isamu Akasaki, a scientist researching in the field of electronics. Each worth 50 million yen (some €370,000/ £320,000), the honours are awarded every year by the Inamori Foundation, which was initiated in 1984 by Dr Kazuo Inamori, founder of the Japanese technology corporation Kyocera.
Pierre Boulez (*1925 Montbrison, France)
Pierre Boulez, French composer, conductor and author, is among the most important musical personalities of our time. He has had a major influence on western music following the Second World War. As a man of wide-ranging talent and a supreme level of creativity he has shaped the contemporary music scene up until the present day. Initially his interest focused on serial music – he has made a decisive contribution to theoretical and practical developments in this field. Even today, Pierre Boulez still occupies the conductor’s rostrum in front of leading orchestras worldwide. Among these have been the New York Philharmonic, which he conducted as a successor to Leonard Bernstein. Pierre Boulez holds honorary doctorates from the universities of Leeds, Basle, Oxford, Cambridge, Southern California Los Angeles, Brussels and Frankfurt am Main. Pierre Boulez is deserving of the utmost respect for his life’s work.