Cello concerto premiered and championed by Gerhardt wins prestigious music prize
Julian Anderson’s (CBE) Litanies for Cello and Orchestra has been announced today as the winner of the 2023 Grawemeyer Award in Music Composition. After premiering the work with National Orchestra of France at the Radio France Auditorium in 2020, cellist Alban Gerhardt has continued to perform the work all over the world, from the UK to Scandinavia to Hong Kong.
“Already as a child, I was drawn to music which dealt with pain and loss, and in Julian Anderson’s beautiful Litanies for Cello and Orchestra his deep sadness about the death of his mentor Oliver Knussen mirrors itself in yearning cello lines which, among many other parts of this concerto, are very fulfilling to perform. I am so very delighted that this wonderful work has been chosen to win the 2023 Grawemeyer Award in Music Composition – after 30 years, the second cello concerto to be honoured with this most prestigious award. Congratulations Julian!” he said of the piece. Grawemeyer Music Award Director Marc Satterwhite praised the depth and creativity of the concerto, saying “[it] explores virtually every sound a cello and orchestra can make together”, and that it “spans a vast emotional range and is constantly inventive, but always toward an expressive end.”