We are delighted that Sir Peter Maxwell Davies has been awarded the classical prize in the South Bank Sky Arts Awards 2015 for his Symphony No. 10. The award was presented in a ceremony on 8 June at the Savoy Hotel in London.
Described by Davies as ‘the wildest music I’ve ever written’, Symphony No. 10 was premiered at the Barbican Centre in February 2014 by Sir Antonio Pappano and the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus with baritone Markus Butter.
The Symphony tells the story of the 17th Century Roman architect Borromini, who suffered much criticism for his idiosyncratic buildings and tragically committed suicide. Max has a long connection with Italy, and has held an interest in Borromini and his buildings ever since he first went to Italy in 1955.
Full of darkly glowing sonorities (recalling the earlier Roma, Amor of 1998) and often in a language of startling harmonic directness, the Symphony sets Leopardi’s sonnet A se stesso, Borromini’s last testament and an anonymous sonnet which attacks Borromini’s work for its “eccentricity” and “lack of coherence”. (…) a deeply moving meditation on the nature of creativity, the artist’s relationship with the past and, ultimately, mortality. (Chris Austin)
The ceremony will be broadcast on Sky Arts on Wednesday 10 June at 8pm.