The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Contemporary Music has been granted, in this ninth edition, to Sofia Gubaidulina on the basis of outstanding musical and personal qualities.
Works as varied as Offertorium, The Canticle of the Sun, Seven Words and Johannes-Passion demonstrate the exceptional range and quality of her music, which builds on a diversity of traditions in individual and innovative ways, using a range of instruments that sometimes draw on folk music and improvisation. Her works achieve a spiritual quality that is always personal and searching: as she has said, “I live in a world of questions.” The transformative dimension of her music has ensured its broad dissemination beyond conventional audiences for contemporary music.
Sofia Gubaidulina is an outstanding example of a composer who has pursued her own distinctive voice and followed her conscience despite extremely difficult political circumstances that extended to blacklisting and denunciation. Her achievement is one of uncompromising courage and perseverance. It is these qualities of individual strength and artistic integrity that are expressed through her music.
The award to Sofia Gubaidulina is made in recognition of the inspiring example she sets to all creative artists who seek to follow their own path.