Press release: Sir Peter Maxwell Davies Symphony No 10 wins South Bank Sky Arts Award


Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ Symphony No 10, which was commissioned and given its world premiere by the London Symphony Orchestra and conductor Sir Antonio Pappano, has won a prestigious South Bank Sky Arts award in the Classical category. The award was presented to Sir Peter today by violinist Tasmin Little at a ceremony at London’s Savoy Hotel, hosted by Melvyn Bragg.

Kathryn McDowell, Managing Director of the London Symphony Orchestra said: 'Completing a 10th Symphony has beaten some of music’s greatest composers. Not so with Max, who courageously battled leukaemia to finish his 10th Symphony from his hospital bed, and recovered sufficiently to attend the premiere. This was a work that had to be written. The LSO is thrilled to have commissioned the 10th Symphony, which gave the orchestra, the London Symphony Chorus and LSO Choral Director Simon Halsey, baritone Markus Butter, and conductor Sir Antonio Pappano a challenge that was hugely rewarding, as witnessed by all those present at the premiere. Thank you Max for a great work.'

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies said: 'It was a real joy to work on this symphony with the extraordinary LSO and Tony Pappano, and the London Symphony Chorus and Markus Butter. And what’s even better – the LSO has commissioned me for another work, a children’s opera, for next year.'

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ Symphony No 10 ‘Alla ricerca di Borromini’ was commissioned by the London Symphony Orchestra with generous support from UBS, the Orchestra e Coro dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (Roma) and the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra. The world premiere performance was given by the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, with baritone Markus Butter, conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano, on 2 February 2014 at the Barbican, and broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. Described by the composer as 'the wildest music I’ve ever written', Symphony No 10 is inspired by 17th Century Italian architect Borromini. An important influence on Maxwell Davies’s music, Borromini’s architectural and mathematical principles permeate throughout the symphony, a work that speaks of creativity, life, death and renewal. The performance was recorded by LSO Live, the Orchestra’s record label, and is available here:

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies Symphony No 10 CD cover imageThe South Bank Sky Arts Awards are one of the world’s most coveted arts awards, celebrating the best of British culture and achievement across visual art, theatre, opera, dance, comedy, classical music, pop, TV drama, literature, and film.

The glittering annual ceremony is hosted by the South Bank Show presenter Melvyn Bragg, and previous winners include Harold Pinter, J. K. Rowling, Dame Judi Dench, and The Who.

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