Composer Unsuk Chin wins Ernst von Siemens Music Prize

South Korean composer Unsuk Chin won the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize, dubbed the Nobel Prize of classical music, Thursday, becoming the first Asian to do so. The Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation and the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts announced that the 62-year-old musician was chosen as the winner of the prestigious award for this year. Chin will receive the award, along with prize money of 250,000 euros (US$271,774), on May 18 in Munich, Germany, according to the foundation's website. Past winners of the prize include composers Benjamin Britten, Olivier Messiaen, conductors Herbert von Karajan, Leonard Bernstein, Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, violinist Gidon Kremer, pianist Maurizio Pollini and Alfred Brendel. "I'm pleased to receive such an important award in Germany, my second home, and I feel more honored to win this award than any other award that I have received before," said the composer, who lives and works in Berlin. Born in Seoul in 1961, Chin moved to Germany in 1985 to study contempor ary classical music under the teaching of master composer Gyorgy Ligeti at the University of Music and Theatre Hamburg. She rose to international fame when she won the Grawemeyer Award for her violin concerto in 2004. She later took home the Wihuri Sibelius Prize in 2017, the Marie-Josee Kravis Prize in 2018, the Bach Prize in 2019 and the Leonie Sonning Music Prize in 2021. She has received invitations from orchestras and concert halls around the world, including as the resident composer of the Berlin Deutsche Symphony Orchestra (2001), resident composer of the Tongyeong International Music Festival (2005), principal composer of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra (2006) and artistic director of the British Philharmonic Orchestra (2010). She has been serving as artistic director of the Tongyeong International Music Festival since 2022. World-class orchestras, such as the Berlin Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony and Radio France Philharmonic, and contemporary music ensembles, including En semble Intercontemporain and Ensemble Modern, have performed Chin's works. In November, the Berlin Philharmonic released a three-CD album set of her orchestral works and concertos recorded over the past 17 years. Source: Yonhap News Agency