An iconic and innovative force in songwriting, performance and poetry
TORONTO, April 1 /CNW/ - Singer, songwriter, poet and novelist Leonard Cohen has been awarded The Ninth Glenn Gould Prize. The international award
is presented biennially to a living luminary who has made a unique
lifetime contribution that has enriched the human condition through the
arts and manifests the values of innovation, inspiration and
transformation. A tribute to Glenn Gould's artistry and his
multifaceted contributions to culture, the prize promotes the vital
connection between artistic excellence and the transformation of lives.
"I want to thank The Glenn Gould Foundation for their kindness. It is a
great honour, sweetened by my love of the work of Glenn Gould, and our
collective appreciation of his invigorating and enduring presence in
the world of Music and Imagination," stated Leonard Cohen.
Leonard Cohen was chosen from a distinguished list of international
candidates nominated by the general public and will receive a cash
prize of $50,000 (CDN) and the opportunity to choose an outstanding
young artist to receive The City of Toronto Glenn Gould Protégé Prize
of $15,000 (CDN). Mr. Cohen and his protégé will receive their awards
at a gala ceremony in Toronto and their work will be honoured through a
series of public events later this year.
Jury Chair Paul Hoffert said, "The jury was unanimous in selecting
Leonard Cohen as the Ninth Glenn Gould Prize laureate. His poetry and
music transcend national boundaries and cultures by touching our common
humanity. His unique voice is nonetheless the common voice of people
around the globe telling our stories, expressing our emotions, reaching
deeply into our psyches. Like Glenn Gould, his work touches audiences
far outside his main genre. Hallelujah!"
The illustrious jury for the Ninth Glenn Gould Prize included
singer/songwriter, indie producer and UN Goodwill Ambassador Dadawa (China); screenwriter, film and opera director Atom Egoyan (Canada); actor, screenwriter, author and director Stephen Fry (UK); celebrated pianist, teacher, author and music administrator Gary Graffman (United States); film producer, founder and director of DHC/ART
Foundation for Contemporary Art and PHI Group Phoebe Greenberg (Canada); singer, educator and vocal producer Elaine Overholt (Canada); and recording industry executive Costa Pilavachi (Canada/UK/Greece).
For four decades, Leonard Cohen has been one of the most important and
influential songwriters of our time, relentlessly examining the central
issues in human experience, and reporting with passion, insight and
wisdom. His body of work is a reflection of the zeitgeist of the late
20th century and beyond. His songs are works of great poetic depth and
profound emotional force, and set new standards for quality, range and
seriousness in pop music. Artists and music-lovers alike are drawn to
the dignity, ambition and sheer power of his songs.
An accomplished literary figure before he began recording music in the
late 1960s, his collections of poetry, including Let Us Compare Mythologies (1956) and Flowers for Hitler, and his novels including The Favourite Game (1963) and Beautiful Losers (1966), had already brought him considerable recognition. His dual
careers in music and literature have continued feeding each other over
the decades - his songs revealing a literary richness rare in the world
of popular music, and his poetry and prose informed by an intense
musicality. Collectively, Cohen has published 12 books including Book of Longing (2006), a collection of prose, poetry and drawings which was the first
book of poetry to reach the top of Canada's bestsellers' lists, and
which formed the basis of a memorable musical and theatre collaboration
with composer Philip Glass which premiered at Toronto's Luminato
Leonard Cohen is one of the most covered artists alive today,
influencing generations of songwriters, and his music has earned the
accolades of other artists in tribute albums in France, Norway, Canada,
Spain, the Czech Republic, South Africa, and the United States.
"Hallelujah", one of Cohen's best-known and best-loved songs has been
covered by over 150 artists including Willie Nelson and Bono. Numerous
documentaries, awards, and tribute albums acknowledge the far-reaching
contribution Cohen has made to music. He continues to refine and
deepen his art, and as a musician he is constantly exploring new
The Glenn Gould Foundation honours Glenn Gould's spirit and legacy by
celebrating brilliance, promoting creativity and transforming lives
through the power of music and the arts with the Foundation's signature
activities, including The Glenn Gould Prize. Past laureates include Dr.
José Antonio Abreu (2008), founder of El Sistema, Venezuela's free
music education program for children and youth, Pierre Boulez (2002),
Oscar Peterson (1993) and Yo-Yo Ma (1999). For more information on the
foundation, prize and jurors visit www.glenngould.ca .
SOURCE Glenn Gould Foundation
For further information:
Karen Lorenowicz, KL Strategic Communications, 416-243-0168, firstname.lastname@example.org