Pierre Boulez received the Kyoto Prize
Kyoto Prize Award Ceremony 2009
10 November 2009
Kyoto/Neuss – This year's Kyoto Prize has been awarded today to the 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. The Kyoto Prize is one of the world’s highest honours for the lifetime work of outstanding personalities in culture and science. The prize, each of which carries a 50 million Yen value (at present approx. 370,000 EUR) is awarded on an annual basis by the Inamori Foundation, which was created in 1984 by Dr Kazuo Inamori, the founder of the Japanese Kyocera technology group of companies.
Category of Art and Philosophy
The French composer Pierre Boulez is receiving the award in the category of Art and Philosophy for his contribution to contemporary music. Initially his interest focused on serial music – he has made a decisive contribution to theoretical and practical developments in this field.
Category of Basic Sciences
Award-winners in the category of Basic Sciences are the English husband-and-wife team of biologists Dr Peter Raymond Grant and Dr Barbara Rosemary Grant. Both are being honoured for their evolutionary research. Through their field study of Darwin’s finches on the Galapagos Islands over a period of more than 35 years, the Grants have shown that the morphology and behaviour of organisms through natural selection can change rapidly due to ecological fluctuations.
Category of Advanced Technology
In the category of Advanced Technology, the Inamori Foundation is honouring the Japanese scientist Dr Isamu Akasaki for his successful achievements in the field of electronics research. For many years, Dr Akasaki was intensively engaged in research into the semiconductor material gallium nitride (GaN), with the aim of producing blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs).
The ceremony took place at the Kyoto International Conference Center. The three laureates received a diploma, a 20-karat gold Kyoto Prize medal and 50 million yen. Members of the imperial family attended the gala, together with more than one thousand guests from all over the world.
This year’s Kyoto Prize is already the 25th time that personalities who have made special contributions to the further development of sciences and arts are honoured in this way. Other recipients of the prize in previous years include the German choreographer Pina Bausch, philosopher Jürgen Habermas, Japanese designer Issey Miyake, musician and conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt, artists Maurice Béjart and Roy Lichtenstein as well as primate researcher Jane Goodall.
This year's Kyoto Prize laureate in the category of Art and Philosophy: Composer Pierre Boulez
Images: © Inamori Foundation 2009
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