Léonie Sonning Music Prize

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The Léonie Sonning Music Prize (Danish: Léonie Sonnings musikpris) is an international music prize that was donated in 1965 by the Danish Léonie Sonning Music Foundation (Léonie Sonnings musikfond). The award for a life's work to date is given annually to internationally known composers, musicians, conductors or singers who are supposed to be among the best in their field. A reference to Denmark is desirable, but not a requirement. The music prize is endowed with 600,000 crowns (approx. 80,000 euros).


Léonie Sonning (1894–1970), widow of the Danish author Carl Johan Sonning, handed over three properties to the foundation in 1965, from the proceeds of which the endowment and the scholarships are fed. The award ceremony usually takes place in Copenhagen at a concert by the winner. In 1959, before the award was officially established, Igor Stravinsky was awarded a Sonning Music Prize.

The Léonie Sonning Music Foundation also supports the development of young Scandinavian musicians through scholarships.

The Léonie Sonning Music Prize should not be confused with the Sonning Prize of the Sonning Foundation Carl Johan Sonnings (1879–1937), which honors and supports culturally significant personalities or cultural non-profit projects.

Award winners

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