On 15 November Sir George Benjamin received the Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Works Collection, presented with the Music Publishers Association. Recognising the artistry and legacy of composer’s entire oeuvre, The Ivors Academy made special mention of the “consistent beauty, complexity and colour of his compositions”. His critically-acclaimed Concerto for Orchestra, premiered at the BBC Proms by the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in 2021, was also nominated for a prize in the Orchestral category. The ceremony was broadcast on the New Music Show.
Sir Nicholas Kenyon paid tribute to Benjamin.
He is, for all the best reasons, absolutely uncompromising…his towering achievement in opera and in new music stands as a very active reproach to those who would minimise those two areas of our vital musical life. In that George is a symbol as well as someone with an astonishing achievement of outstanding works.
In his acceptance speech Benjamin thanked the Ivors Academy, before discussing the ongoing crisis facing classical music in the UK, in light of recent Arts Council England Funding cuts
Benjamin’s latest stage work Picture a day like this, with a text by his long-term collaborator Martin Crimp, will debut this summer at the Aix-en-Provence Festival, where Benjamin is an artist-in-focus next year. Earlier this year Benjamin was also awarded the Grand Prix artistique 2022 de la Fondation Simone et Cino Del Duca by the Institut de France, in recognition of his extraordinary artistic and musical output. The prize is given in recognition of the entire career of an artist of international stature, alternately in the fields of painting, sculpture, and musical composition.