Norman Lebrecht at Slipped Disc has reported that Canadian soprano and conductor Barbara Hannigan has donated a $60,000 USD monetary prize from the music category of the prestigious Rolf Schock Prize.
Hannigan was presented the award at the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm on October 15. Rolf Schock Prize for Musical Arts laureates includes Wayne Shorter, György Ligeti, Kaija Saariaho, Anne Sofie von Otter, Gidon Kremer, Andrew Manze, and Herbert Blomstedt.
Upon receiving the award Hannigan announced in her acceptance speech that she would donate the prize money to her mentorship foundation, Equilibrium Young Artists.
As a child, in the village of Waverley, Nova Scotia, music called me. My parents nurtured that little girl who loved to sing, taught me how to work consistently and with discipline, encouraged me to put in my hours of practice, meticulously scheduled, even when I didn’t feel inspired, and helped me to find the right teachers and mentors who would help me develop my skills.
More recently, conducting orchestras has taken a special place alongside singing. In both roles, I join my fellow musicians in resonating with what a composer has written, listening deeply to one another in service of the score, and witnessing and sharing that concentration of sound with those who are listening.
It has been especially rewarding to work with living composers. After 30 years of giving world premieres, I am very grateful to still be performing — at age 47, which is getting up there for a female opera singer. Yet I am little surprised to notice that I am one of the older singers in an opera production, instead of the youngest. I was chatting to a colleague a couple of years ago, remarking that we resembled one another…and he said…YES! You look just like my mother! That was a wakeup call, and it confirmed that it might be time to add a new string to my bow. And before I knew it, I’d created a mentoring initiative for young professional musicians, which I decided to call Equilibrium…
Read the full speech, here.