Just in: Dutch composer wins huge US prize for cello work

Just in: Dutch composer wins huge US prize for cello work


norman lebrecht

December 03, 2018

The composer Joël Bons has been named winner of the $100,000 Grawemeyer Award for 2019.

Bons, 65, is a professor at the Amsterdam Conservatoire.

He receives the prize for ‘Nomaden,’ a one-hour work for diverse instruments, ranging from Chinese to Turkish to Azerbaijani.


  • boringfileclerk says:

    I’m sorry, but John Borstlap got robbed! He had the best year ever this year! Sorry Joël , but you just didn’t come close in my book.

  • Peter Owen says:

    Absolutely wonderful! That this can win $100,000 will give enormous encouragement to composers everywhere.

  • Enquiring Mind says:

    Has anyone who listened to the first minute continued to listen?

  • John Borstlap says:

    Nice music…. of the fashionable ‘jazzy’ American kind, in an attempt to be ‘cool’, and some non-Western things thrown-in for the multi-culti component – who could be against it? If you would criticize it, you would be a rightwing, white suprematist fascist and who would want to be such person? And then, is the music referring to the globalized world culture? Now ‘we’ offer space to ‘those suppressed musical cultures’ from formerly colonialised countries. To my feeling, it rather shows the lack of any stilistic context, like a soup made of all the little leftovers from the past week.

    • Ger says:

      Beetje jaloers….

      • John Borstlap says:

        ‘I am by far your superior, but my notorious modesty prevents me from saying so.’ Eric Satie

        ‘Artists should never have opinions about other artists, because in the process they may reveal how it’s done and the public should never come to know.’ Oscar Wilde

        ‘If there is anyone here whom I have not insulted, I beg his pardon.’ Johannes Brahms

        ‘My Brillo Boxes are better than any imitation.’ Andy Warhol

        ‘I took-up the insurance business to be protected against any musical criticism. That’s why my music is much better than, for instance, Debussy’s.’ Charles Ives