Sofia Gubaidulina is regarded as an icon of contemporary classical music. The Russian-born composer has been a significant influence on events in contemporary music with her works which are highly innovative and true to tradition at the same time. It was with the premiere of her epic first Violin concert “Offertorium” dedicated to the violinist Gidon Kremer in 1981, if not sooner, that she became an international force. This year, GEMA honours the work of the 85-year-old composer with the Deutsche Musikautorenpreis in the category “lifetime achievement”.
“When the message reached me that I was deemed worthy of the Deutsche Musikautorenpreis 2017 for my lifetime achievement, I was delighted and extremely grateful”, Sofia Gubaidulina rejoices about the news on the award. “At the beginning of my activity as a composer in the Soviet Union, I wouldn’t have dreamt of my works receiving such international appreciation one day. I feel very honoured because I respect GEMA tremendously. Its work contributes a great deal towards creative activities in our society always getting their due recognition.”
This year’s jury considers Sofia Gubaidulina as the “Grande Dame” of composition: “In her works, she combines deep religiousness with the Far Eastern culture she admires so much; traditional folk instruments are placed next to scores for big classical orchestras. She develops Russian music tradition further to a universal language of faith. Her life work consists of confessional music in the highest degree, always existential and vital in every second.”
Prof. Dr Enjott Schneider, Chairman of the GEMA Supervisory Board welcomes the jury's decision: “With Sofia Gubaidulina, a Russian cosmopolitan creator who has been living in Germany since 1992, a worldwide celebrated composer is honoured whose music easily finds its way into people’s hearts: This is not done by way of pleasantness, but via an uncompromising, harsh and simplistic severity of a beautifully conveyed frugality. There are no superfluous or superficial ornaments but each tone is expression and agitation. Her life, fulfilled by spirituality proves to be an absolute match to her music scores.”