Sir John Eliot Gardiner receives the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Prize
John Eliot Gardiner receives the Concertgebouw award

In a brief hiatus from our Mozart tour, Sir John Eliot Gardiner headed to Amsterdam, where he was awarded the Concertgebouw Prize (presented by Hans Wijers, Concertgebouw Chairman). The prize is awarded to a musician (or ensemble) that has made an important contribution to the artistic profile of the Concertgebouw. Former laureates of the prize include The Beaux Art Trio, Cecilia Bartoli and Janine Jansen. John Eliot Gardiner has a long history of performing at the Concertgebouw with his ensembles (totaling more than 50 performances).

The laudatio was given by Simon Reinink (General Manager, Concertgebouw), who reminisced on his own experiences of John Eliot Gardiner performances in the Concertgebouw over the last 20 years. Reinink remarked on Sir John Eliot’s ability to bring out the best qualities of the concert hall itself, continually developing on the whole fabric of a performance, not only by continually challenging our interpretations of the music, but also making the most of the stage and the acoustics. Reinink went on to say:

“The Gardiner sound – if I may say so - is easily recognizable because of its purity, balance, pronounced interpretation (it sounds so logical!) and overwhelming musicality. Take for instance The Monteverdi Choir: it sounds like crystal clear mountain spring water. Radiant, stunning and straight to the gut.”

Following the presentation of the award, the Monteverdi Choir performed a selection of short a cappella works by Purcell, Allegri and Brahms, finishing with Non nobis, Domine (attrib. Byrd, arr. J E Gardiner).

John Eliot Gardiner conducts the Monteverdi Choir at the Award Ceremony
Image credits: Het Concertgebouw, Amsterdam