Prize for his life's work

Reading time: 1 min. Cristóbal Halffter

The prize of the Spanish BBVA Foundation, "Frontiers of Knowledge" for contemporary music (Premio Fronteras del Conocimiento en Música Contemporéana), has been awarded to Cristóbal Halffter (born 1930 in Madrid), whose works, in the words of the prize jury, breathe with inspiration. "Through their coherence and the continuity of their commitment, they have greatly contributed to the idea of a European contemporary music." The jury also honoured Halffter's role in the reintroduction of Spanish music into the world of contemporary music, both as composer and conductor.

For Halffter it was first of all a "real triumph" that such a prize, worth EUR 400,000, has been awarded not only for physics and ecology, but also for contemporary music. "Although I have lived abroad and it was there that I won my first recognition, I have never cut myself off from Spain. This prize binds me more tightly to our shared culture".

Halffter reinforced the role of knowledge. Information is everywhere, but it is knowledge we are running short of. "Our society tends to confuse culture and show. Culture can be a show, but a show is often anything but culture".

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