Benedetti’s composer and Einstein director win Japan’s Praemium Imperiale

Benedetti’s composer and Einstein director win Japan’s Praemium Imperiale


norman lebrecht

September 14, 2023

The American trumpeter and composer Wynton Marsalis, whose violin concerto is being played the world over by his partner Nicola Benedetti, has won the music section of Japan’s most prestigious prize, worth around $100,000.

Also honoured is the opera director Robert Wilson, famed for Einstein on the Beach.

Latvian-American Vija Celmins won the Painting prize and Francis Kéré, from Burkina Faso/Germany, the Architecture award. Icelandic–Danish artist Olafur Eliasson was honoured in the Sculpture category.


  • JohninDenver says:

    “Benedetti’s composer” is an extremely bizarre way to describe Wynton Marsalis.

    • niloiv says:

      I actually lol’ed on this. But at the same time it’s quite common in pop music that certain composer is referred to as ‘guy who writes songs for xx singer’

    • SNORRI says:

      JohninDenver, this is typical of this site, i.e., weirdly phrased headlines that seem to insinuate something insidious but then again may be just shoddy editorial practice. I’ve never encountered such strangely worded stuff anywhere.

      • RPMS40 says:

        And exercising a very strange editorial moderating hand on this particular article. I’ve tried posting two comments. Neither remotely offensive, but asking a question about the use of a particular word, which seems to have touched a nerve. Maybe this post will pass the test. Maybe it won’t.

  • zayin says:

    c’mon, Marsalis needs a classical music prize like John Williams needs one for HIS violin concerto with Mutter … whatever, how about giving it to someone who actually needs the cash and exposure

    • Paul Wells says:

      It’s not particularly or only a classical music prize, which is why Ravi Shankar, Oscar Peterson, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Ornette Coleman have won it in the past. Marsalis isn’t winning for his violin concerto; the citation doesn’t mention it. He’s winning for being Wynton Marsalis, as previous recipients won for being who they are.

  • David K. Nelson says:

    With all due respect to Benedetti, a very fine musician, to refer to Wynton Marsalis not by name but as “Benedetti’s composer” is a little like referring to Jascha Heifetz as “electric car-driving violinist.” Yes it’s true but it seems to be reaching rather deep into the resume.

  • Zarathusa says:

    Incredibly gifted and worthy honorees all! The awards committee certainly outdid themselves in selecting such universally outstanding recipients! And the money doesn’t hurt also!

  • Unvaccinated says:

    Crowd pleasing junk

  • SueSonataForm says:

    Wynton Marsalis, one of my very fave Americans. Great man, superb musician. Congratulations on this win.

  • Stephan says:

    “Benedetti’s composer”? This is nonsensical. A composer does not belong to the violinist; he is associated with the concerto that he composed. The writer of this headline is a wacko!