‘Let me tell you’, a song cycle for soprano and orchestra, has earned Danish composer Hans Abrahamsen (62) the 2016 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition. Abrahamsen’s half-hour work presents a first-person narrative by Ophelia, the tragic noblewoman from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The libretto by Paul Griffiths is adapted from his 2008 novel.
Grawemeyer award director Marc Satterwhite said: « The vocal lines exquisitely mirror Griffiths’ fragile texts of the doomed Ophelia. The orchestra is a partner rather than mere accompanist and the composer draws a huge array of colors from the orchestra, delicate and shimmering more often than not, but occasionally in fuller force.”

The composition was commissioned by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra with support from the Danish Arts Foundation. The work premiered in 2013 with the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Andris Nelsons and featured soprano Barbara Hannigan, to whom the work is dedicated.

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