Trumpet wins first Fanny prize

They set up a Fanny Mendelssohn prize in Berlin, in memory of a fabulous woman composer who couldn’t break the glass ceiling.

Nice idea. But they’ve given the inaugural prize and ten grand in Euros to a male trumpet player, Tamás Pálfalvi.

So much for good intentions.

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  • They claim to look for and reward “an innovative musical concept”, “a new approach in terms of interpretation” and “an uncommon repertoire”, not advancing or sponsoring young women artist specifically.
    So, how does the naming of a male winner warrant the comment of “So much for good intentions”?
    Here a link to their website’s press release regarding the winner and the 5 finalists (which included Karin Bonelli of the Vienna State Opera and Sophie Dartigalongue of the Berlin Phil):

    What is rather interesting however, is that the jury doesn’t consist of musicians but of “critics, journalists, artistic directors and dramaturges”.

  • A trumpet playing a violin showpiece this well is truly amazing. He is continuing the tradition
    of Nakariakov to expand the expressive capabilities of classical trumpet playing way beyond what it was.

  • Are we still, in the twenty-first century, thinking of Fanny Hensel as a woman composer (whose more famous brother discouraged her from disseminating her work), as opposed to a composer? Surely, it is a good thing that both men and women are being innovative in their repertoire and interpretation.

    Having said that, it is intriguing that the prize does not appear to require entrants to play a composition by Fanny Hensel.

    • Is it really the case that Felix discouraged his sister from composing? Anecdotal evidence (the famous incident with Queen Victoria) suggests that on the contrary, Felix played a tacit role in smuggling his sister’s works into the public domain (under the name of “F Mendelssohn”) – against their parents wishes?

      • Felix Mendelssohn did not particularly encourage his sister to publish, whereas Fanny Hensel’s husband did. On reflection, this may be on artistic grounds (Felix Mendelssohn being a great musician, was wont to criticise his sister’s work, whereas Wilhelm Hensel was not).

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