Stoeger Prize

Marc-André Dalbavie
Photo credit: Alix Laveau

Marc-André Dalbavie is the 2018 recipient of the Elise L. Stoeger prize

The Stoeger Prize for composers of chamber music was established by a generous gift from Milan Stoeger as a memorial to his wife, Elise, and in gratitude for the music that had been one of the principal joys of their lives. The Prize is awarded in recognition of achievement in the field of chamber music composition rather than for a specific work.

The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s 2018 Elise L. Stoeger Prize has been awarded to French composer Marc-André Dalbavie. The Stoeger Prize, a $25,000 cash award and the largest of its kind, is given every two years in recognition of significant contributions to the field of chamber music composition.

Chamber Music Society Artistic Directors David Finckel and Wu Han commented on the announcement:

We are thrilled to recognize the eminent composers of today who have made a significant contribution to the chamber music repertoire and we do so biennially with the Stoeger Prize, acknowledging those creative voices that have enriched this art form. This season, we are pleased to award Marc-André Dalbavie with the 2018 Prize. The jury was impressed with his work, describing it as sensitive and evocative while dynamic and powerful. It is a privilege to add Dalbavie to this group of esteemed composers.
Marc-André Dalbavie responded:

I am very honored and touched to receive this prize. My deepest thanks to all the people who put their trust in my work. Chamber music demands the most rigorous discipline from a composer and it is always a pleasure to write for musicians who are friends. Personal relationships are stimulating in chamber music. Also, as a composer working alone, feeling a little isolated, it is always reassuring to know that somewhere in the world, some people have received the sound waves coming out of my imagination.

About Marc-André Dalbavie

Marc-André Dalbavie is now one of the most frequently performed composers of his generation, having opened up contemporary music in numerous directions. He has received commissions from prestigious orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, Orchestre de Paris, BBC Symphony, Montreal Symphony, and Tokyo Philharmonic, as well as from musical institutions such as Carnegie Hall, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, London’s Proms Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Marlboro Festival, Radio France’s Présences festival, and Cité de la Musique in Paris. In 2010 he conducted the premiere of his first opera, Gesualdo, on a libretto by Richard Millet, at the Opernhaus in Zurich, directed by Patrice Caurier and Moshe Leiser. In 2012 he was commissioned by the New York City Ballet, and in 2015 he was composer-in-residence at the Davos Festival.

After researching timbre and the phenomenon of sound, linked to electronics, he went on to produce a set of spatialized acoustic pieces that were written especially for the halls and venues where they were premiered. His compositions also explore the full potential of the orchestra, from sound diffraction up to the symphonic bloc, gliding from one to the other via the principle of generalized morphing. He integrates consonance and rhythmic beat, redeploys the genres of concerto and certain chamber music combinations, gives melodic fluidity to the voice, and rethinks the question of text/music relations.

Watch and listen to musical excerpts of Marc-André Dalbavie's chamber music compositions:

Marc-André Dalbavie Palimpseste for Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Viola, Cello, and Piano (2002)

Marc-André Dalbavie Trio for Horn, Cello, and Piano (2005)

Marc-André Dalbavie Tactus for Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn, String Quintet, and Piano (1996)


Past Recipients

The Stoeger Prize for composers of chamber music was established by a generous gift from Milan Stoeger as a memorial to his wife, Elise, and in gratitude for the music that had been one of the principal joys of their lives. The Prize is awarded in recognition of achievement in the field of chamber music composition rather than for a specific work.

Previous winners of the Elise L. Stoeger Prize

1987 - Gunther Schuller
1990 - Oliver Knussen
1992 - Lee Hyla and Olly Wilson
1993 - Aaron Jay Kernis and Nicholas Maw
1994 - Oleg Felzer and Richard Wilson
1995 - David Liptak and Steven Mackey
1996 - Martin Bresnick and Osvaldo Golijov
1997 - Stephen Hartke and Judith Weir
1998 - Thomas Ades and Yehudi Wyner
1999 - James Primosch and Scott Wheeler
2000 - Michael Daugherty and Kaija Saariaho
2002 - Chen Yi
2004 - David Rakowski
2006 - Pierre Jalbert
2008 - Jörg Widmann
2010 - Brett Dean 
2012 - Zhou Long
2014 - Thomas Larcher
2016 - Huw Watkins 


From the guidelines for the award, the intentions of the donor indicate that the Prize will help sustain a composer for creative work that he/she might not otherwise be able to accomplish without such economic help.