Friedrich Serha is the first bearer of the newly created Alban Berg ring. The composer received the honor on Monday evening at the Musikverein in Vienna – followed by a concert on his 95th birthday, which he had already celebrated in February. The ring is awarded for life “in recognition of musical creativity”, the conduct of which is decided by himself as his successor.
“Each award is also a mutual responsibility,” Cerha said in his words of thanks. He is “proud to be the first”. At the Alban Berg Foundation committee, which created the ring and decided who would first wear it, Cerha smiled and identified a “change of mind” in the past 50 years. At that time, around the completion of the unfinished mountain opera “Lulu”, it was still “the image of the enemy and the attack surface” of the self-proclaimed defenders of the mountains. “Now the same committee is giving me an award.”
Maximilian Eiselsberg, President of the Alban Berg Foundation, described the prize’s symbolism on the ring, which bears the same name in the form of a soundtrack to Berg’s music cast in gold, “encircling the works of its owner and setting them in a boundless state”. The award ceremony was held in a small circle of “friends and fans” – including former Federal President and Sir Serha music student Heinz Fischer, Salzburg Festival President Helga Rabel Stadler and President of the Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) Anton Zeilinger.
More well-wishers gathered after the Christmas party in the glass hall. Jubilee had set the program itself, with works on strings, piano and clarinet, and it extended into the chamber music arc with more than 200 comprehensive works and numerous styles always touching on stubbornness. Musicians associated with the composer performed, including companions such as violinist Ernst Kovacic or Klangforum Wien.
Her bio, who had previously declared in an interview with the APA that the enjoyment of listening to his music was always “threatened by my vigilance and my critical mind,” seemed very relaxed. Perhaps also because music was given precedence on this evening of honor. As he told Eiselsberg, Cerha only accepted the ring award on the condition that “everything verbal is kept to a minimum”. It is doubtful that the line of well-wishers who lobbied for the jubilee after the ceremony wanted to adhere to this principle.
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