The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Music and Opera category has gone in this sixteenth edition to George Benjamin (composer, conductor and Henry Purcell Professor of Composition at King’s College London) for “his extraordinary contribution and impact in contemporary creation in the realms of symphonic music, opera and chamber music,” said the committee in its citation.

“Using a highly personal and distinctive language,” the citation goes on, “he manages to communicate directly with the audience, without forgoing a rigorous, fine-grained workmanship in all aspects of composition, with particular regard to his mastery of orchestration and tone color, and exquisite formal architecture.”

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