Composer Brian Ferneyhough wins 2007 Siemens Music Prize

Brian Ferneyhough

Brian Ferneyhough

BRIAN FERNEYHOUGH, the William H. Bonsall Professor in the Humanities, will be presented with the 2007 International Ernst von Siemens Music Prize, which includes a 200,000 euro (about $260,000) cash award, May 3 in Munich's Kammerspiele Theater. The laudatory address will be delivered by Ulrich Mosch of the Paul Sacher Foundation in Basel. A professor of music, Ferneyhough is associated with the "New Complexity" movement of composition.

The coveted award, often referred to as the Nobel Prize of music, is bestowed by the Ernst von Siemens Foundation for Music. "Few composers have so consistently deepened and explored the avantgarde approaches of the 1950s and 1960s as has Brian Ferneyhough in his music and theoretical writings," according to a statement on the foundation's website. "A student of Lennox Berkeley, Ton de Leeuw and Klaus Huber, his compositions drew acclaim very early in his career. Even the external aspects of his music are almost spectacular in their impact: He has greatly expanded the potential range of instrumental performance and musical notation. His string quartets, almost all of them premiered by the Arditti Quartet, are among the most difficult in the genre."