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Frankfurt Music Prize 2019 goes to Quatuor Ébène

27 Nov 2018

The French Quatuor Ébène string quartet is the winner of the Frankfurt Music Prize 2019. The award is given annually within the framework of the Musikmesse trade fair in Frankfurt and honours personalities who have made a special contribution to the international music scene and culture. The presentation ceremony will be held in St. Paul’s Church, Frankfurt, on 5 April 2019.

The Quatuor Ébène string quartet was founded in 1999 at the Boulogne-Billancourt Conservatory in France. The group first came to international attention in 2004 after winning first prize in the string quartet category at the ARD International Music Competition. Subsequently, the ensemble went on to become firmly established on the musical landscape with a reputation for versatility and a repertoire ranging from classic works to interpretations of well-known film soundtracks and pop songs. Over the intervening years, Quatuor Ébène has won numerous international prizes, including the BBC Music Magazine Award, the Gramophone Award, the Midem Classic Award and various ECHO Klassik awards.

The Trustees of the Frankfurt Music Prize acclaim Quatuor Ébène as an outstanding ensemble whose electrifying playing is characterised by passion, complete fidelity to the original works and a simultaneous delight in improvisation. Through their seemingly effortless crossover into the world of jazz, the musicians have succeeded in increasing public awareness of the string quartet as the elite of chamber music, as well as attracting more people, especially younger people, to the concert halls. Moreover, the members of Quatuor Ébène – Pierre Colombet, Gabriel Le Magadure, Marie Chilemme and Raphaël Merlin – also pass on their outstanding skills and expertise to the coming generation of musicians in master classes.

Frankfurt Music Prize

The Frankfurt Music Prize has honoured personalities from the music scene for extraordinary achievements in the fields of interpretation, composition, musicology, teaching and promoting music making since 1982.

Donated by the National Association of German Musical Instruments Manufacturers (BDMV) and Messe Frankfurt, the Frankfurt Music Prize is worth € 15,000. The previous prize winners include Udo Lindenberg, Peter Gabriel, Keith Emerson and Marie-Luise Neunecker. Last year, the Frankfurt Music Prize went to Germany’s Bundesjazzorchester (BuJazzO).

The members of the Board of Trustees of the Frankfurt Music Prize of the international Musikmesse Frankfurt are:

  • The Mayor of the City of Frankfurt
  • The Chairperson of the National Association of German Musical Instruments Manufacturers (BDMV).
  • A Member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt
  • Two representatives of the German Music Council (Deutscher Musikrat)

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Background information on Messe Frankfurt

Messe Frankfurt is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. With over 2,400 employees at 30 locations, the company generates annual sales of around €669 million. Thanks to its far-reaching ties with the relevant sectors and to its international sales network, the Group looks after the business interests of its customers effectively. A comprehensive range of services – both onsite and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services.
With its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent).

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