Photo: Foto: Priska Ketterer © 2014

The Léoni Sonning Music Prize 2021


Den Sorte Diamant

4/6 2021, 20:00

Søren Kierkegaards Plads 1
1221 København K


Ticket includes entrance to "Salvatore Sciarrino III" at 9.30 PM
The festival discount card does not cover concerts at Den Sorte Diamant.

Street art is rarely associated with music for classical ensembles. Perhaps the same is true of electronic means: it is still something that has some distance to the idea of ​​the classical. But one of the reasons why Unsuk Chin receives the Léonie Sonning Music Prize this year is precisely that she manages to weave many different worlds together in her music.

In Graffiti, originally written for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chin brings street art and its character of protest into a music that jumps between the primitive and the refined. Between transparency and complexity. And with a tension that reflects the balancing act of graffiti culture between the liberating and the shady.

Reality also makes its entrance into the Allegro ma non troppo, which despite its traditional title is an electroacoustic work for percussion and tape. Here, Chin has tried to create a hybrid instrument in which the percussionist encounters his own ghost in the form of manipulated recordings of concrete sounds such as tissue paper, bells and water drops.

The combination of acoustic and electronic elements culminates in the ensemble work Xi. The title can be translated as "core", and from this follows the idea of ​​the work itself: five sections, each originating from its own musical atom and the electronic manipulation of this starting point. The music begins as a breath, but develops into complex, crystalline textures before returning to the core again.


Unsuk Chin: Allegro ma non troppo (1994/98)
Unsuk Chin: Xi (1998)
Unsuk Chin: Graffiti (2012-13)


The concert is part of the Léonie Sonnings Musikfond award ceremony 2021.
The concert is presented in collaboration with Athelas Sinfonietta and Esbjerg Ensemble, Léonie Sonnings Musikfond and Den Sorte Diamant - Det Kongelige Bibliotek.


Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhagen

Esbjerg Ensemble

Pierre-André Valade