Borletti-Buitoni Trust has doled out its bi-annual awards for young musicians, including a special prize in memory of Claudio Abbado. BBT gives out cash grants of GBP20,000-£30,000 (€25,500-€38,300) as well as career advice and other expert assistance to help early-career artists.
Soprano Anna Lucia Richter and Danish String Quartet received BBT awards amounting to GBP30,000 each, while Calidore String Quartet, violinists Alexandra Conunova, Eivind Holtsmark Ringstad and Maria Milstein, and pianists Zoltán Fejérvári and Beatrice Rana got BBT fellowships of GBP20,000.
BBT does not stipulate how winners should spend the money, although past prizes have gone towards tours, CD releases and even new instruments. ‘There are no set criteria: winners are encouraged to be creative and to use their awards in a way that will help to establish and build their careers,’ states BBT’s website.
In addition to the usual awards, Italian group Quartetto Lyskamm were given €25,000 in honour of Claudio Abbado with the intention of developing Italian chamber music, which is less well supported than in other European countries. Abbado was a close friend of BBT co-founder Franco Buitoni, whose family formerly owned the Buitoni pasta company (sold to Nestlé in 1988). Franco’s wife and BBT co-founder Ilaria Borletti Buitoni is a prominent Italian politician.
Previous recipients of the BBT awards include the Apollon Musagète Quartet (2014), Alina Ibragimova (2008) and Gautier Capuçon (2004), while Mark Simpson (2014), Vilde Frang (2007) and Robin Ticciati (2005) are among those who have received fellowships. Since 2003 BBT has supported 87 individuals and ensembles, representing 29 countries. BBT’s trustees include pianist Mitsuko Uchida, who also sits on its artistic committee.