La Biennale di Venezia has awarded George Benjamin the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement in Music 2019. The honour, one of the most prestigious of its kind, will be awarded before a concert performance of Written on Skin by the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai which will open The 63rd International Contemporary Music Festival on 27 September.


Benjamin will be the first British musician to receive the award, joining a list of composers including Berio, Lachenmann, Kurtág, Rihm, and Boulez. The decision was made by the Board of Directors of the Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta, accepting the recommendation by Ivan Fedele, Director of the Music Department.


"Benjamin is universally acknowledged as one of the most important composers of our time” – states the citation. “His deep yet refined compositions reveal a precious and incisive style that shapes the material of sound with the visionary imagination of a sculptor who feels and sees form even before it is materialized in the score. A great educator, George Benjamin is a unique model for the new generations of composers for his creative imagination, intelligence in composing and understanding of form”.


More details about the award can be found here