Emmanuel Pahud
(c) Josef Fischnaller/Warner

The French-Swiss flutist Emmanuel Pahud, 53, will receive the Léonie Sonning Music Prize in Odense on May 30, 2024. Esben Tange, chairman of the Léonie Sonning Music Foundation, explains the background for the choice of next year’s prize winner:

« Flautist Emmanuel Pahud is one of the superstars of the woodwinds, who sovereignly personifies classical ideals of beauty, elegance and equilibrism, while at the same time he has been a driving force in creating new works with a modern edge with great curiosity. Emmanuel Pahud is unique in his ability to be part of a collective – as principal flutist of the Berliner Philharmoniker and as a passionate chamber musician – as well as performing as a prominent soloist and creating innovative solo programs where new and old are in dialogue. A master in his field. And an inspiration to audiences and younger generations of musicians alike. »

Emmanuel Pahud was born in 1970 in Geneva, and since childhood, traveling and moving has been a big part of Pahud’s life. Pahud’s first encounter with a flute came at the age of four when he heard his neighbor playing Mozart’s Flute Concerto No. 1 while the family was living in Rome. At the age of six, Pahud started playing the flute himself, and things took off from there. In 1990, Pahud graduated with first place (Premier Prix) from the Paris Conservatory and went on to study with Swiss flutist Aurèle Nicolet. Since then, he has developed into one of the world’s most honored flutists.

The Léonie Sonning Music Prize is the most important Danish music prize. The prize has been awarded since 1959, when the influential composer Igor Stravinsky was the first recipient. The prize comes with DKK 1,000,000. (ca. 130 000 euros).

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