Sofia Gubaidulina and Romeo Castellucci to receive Golden Lions< Back
for the Music and Theatre sections of the Venice Biennale
04 | 30 | 2013
award ceremony on 2 August (Castellucci) and 4 October (Gubajdulina)
Russian composer Sofia Gubaidulina and director Romeo Castellucci are the recipients of the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement for the Music and Theatre sectors of the Biennale di Venezia. The award to the two artists was recommended by director Ivan Fedele for Music and Àlex Rigola for the Theatre, and approved by the Board of Directors of the Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta.
The awards ceremony for the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement in Music will take place on Friday October 4th (Teatro alle Tese, at 8 pm) during the 57th International Contemporary Music Festival (4 > 13 October); and for the Theatre on Friday August 2nd (Sala delle Colonne at Ca’ Giustinian) during the 42nd International Theatre Festival (1 > 11 August 2013).
In the past the acknowledgment for the Theatre has been awarded to Ferruccio Soleri (2006), Ariane Mnouchkine (2007), Roger Assaf (2008), Irene Papas (2009), Thomas Ostermeier (2011) and Luca Ronconi (2012), while for Music it has been awarded to Goffredo Petrassi (1994), Luciano Berio (1995), Friedrich Cerha (2006), Giacomo Manzoni (2007), Helmut Lachenmann (2008), György Kurtág (2009), Wolfgang Rihm (2010), Peter Eötvös (2011) and Pierre Boulez (2012).
“The Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement awarded to Sofia Gubaidulina – states Director Ivan Fedele – acknowledges the outstanding artistic and human value of a woman who, because of her non-conformist aesthetic choices, has always had to struggle against the political power of the USSR which did not hesitate to define her music as ‘irresponsible’. Nevertheless, she was able to count on the support and patronage of Dmitry Shostakovich, who encouraged her to continue down what had been defined as a ‘mistaken path’. In 1979, she was blacklisted by the VI Congress of the Composers of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics because of her membership in a group of dissident musicians and her participation in festivals that had been condemned by the regime. Despite these enormous difficulties, Sofija Gubajdulina continued to express herself with extreme coherence and freedom, offering the entire world pages of highly inspired music permeated by a spirituality that is both delicate and incandescent, and has brought her fame and admiration around the world”.
At the Music Festival of the Biennale di Venezia, Gubajdulina’s music has been performed since the late 1970’s, when her international career began: the first piece to be performed was Rumore e silenziofor harpsichord and percussions (1977, the Biennale of Dissent), followed by the Italian premiere of Cinque studi for the harp, double bass and percussions (1979 International Contemporary Music Festival), Und: Das Fest ist in vollem Gang for cello and orchestra (1995, 46th International Contemporary Music Festival), Fachwerk for bayan, string orchestra and percussions, presented at the most recent Festival.
Director Àlex Rigola lists an incisive inventory of motivations for awarding the Golden Lion to Romeo Castellucci: “For his capacity to create a new language for the stage that blends theatre, music and the plastic arts. For having created worlds that have achieved excellence in the representation of oneiric states, which is possibly the finest statement that can be made about the experience of the theatre. For having represented on stage something as impossible to represent as a nightmare. For having led us to doubt, interrogating us with scenes that are apparently inoffensive only to have us discover that every sheepskin conceals a wolf or a hundred wolves or a thousand. For having transported us into parallel worlds and then brought us back to look at our own worlds again and find them to be different. For having succeeded in elevating and capturing us within his stories often making us forget that we were seated in the parterre of a theatre. For having closely bound his name to the word Art. For having made Italy an international reference with the creation and representation of his works at the end of the XXth century and the beginning of the XXIst. For having remained theatrically alive after all these years of work, demonstrating the same freshness he started out with 30 years ago. And for having been a great source of inspiration for the following generations to which he has offered a magma of new languages for the theatre”.
Often invited to show his productions at the Theatre Festival of the Biennale di Venezia, Romeo Castellucci was also the festival director in 2005, organizing an edition entitled Pompei. The Book of Ashes, which won a Ubu prize for the Theatre.
Sofia Gubaidulina (Chistopol’, 1931)
She earned her diploma at the Conservatory of Kazan in 1954 in composition and piano, which she studied with Grigory Kogan. Through 1959 she pursued advanced studies in composition at the Conservatory in Moscow with Nikolai Pejko, Shostakovich’s assistant, and specialized under the supervision of Vissarion Scebalin.
She began her career as a composer in 1963. In 1975, with Viktor Suslin and Vyacheslav Artyomov, she founded the Ensemble Astreya specialized in improvising with traditional musical instruments from Russia, the Caucasus, and Central and Eastern Asia. Starting in the early 1980’s, and especially after earning the support and encouragement of violinist Gidon Kremer, her creations were widely performed in western countries. She has received commissions from many institutions and festivals, such as the BBC, the Berlin Festival, the Library of Congress and the New York Philharmonic.
In 1992 Gubajdulina moved to Germany and is currently living near Hamburg.
Gubajdulina is a member of the Akademie der Künste in Berlin, of the Freie Akademie der Künste in Hamburg, of the Royal Music Academy in Stockholm. She has won many awards and acknowledgments: first prize at the International Composition Competition in Rome in 1974, the Prix de Monaco in 1987, the Koussevitzky International Record Award in 1989 and in 1994 for the recording of her violin concerto Offertorium and the symphony Stimmen … verstummen …, the Franco Abbiati prize in 1991, the Heidelberger Künstlerinnenpreis in 1991 and the Russian State Prize in 1992, the Ludwig Spohr award from the city of Brunswick in 1995, the Praemium Imperiale in Japan in 1998, the Fondazione Léonie Sonning award in Denmark in 1999, the medal of honour of the Concert Hall Foundation in Stockholm in 2000, the Goethe medal from the city of Weimar in 2001, the Polar Music award in 2002, the Cannes Classical Award in 2003.
Romeo Castellucci (Cesena – Italy, 1960)
The founder of the Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio, the Italian theatre company that counts the greatest number of performances abroad and is in great demand by the world’s most important festivals, Romeo Castellucci is the author of a theatre founded on the totality of the arts that seeks to achieve integral perception. The productions he directs propose dramatic outlines that are not subject to the primacy of literature, turning theatre into a complex plastic art, with a wealth of visions. He has developed a language that can be understood all around the world, just like music, sculpture, painting and architecture can be.
Romeo Castellucci earned his diploma in Set Design and Painting at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Bologna. At the age of twenty he completed his first experiences in theatre direction; with Claudia Castellucci and Chiara Guidi he founded the Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio in 1981. In the early 1980’s he divided his interest between the theatre and painting, holding several exhibitions. Since then he has been responsible for many productions as an author, director and creator of the sets, lighting, sounds and costumes: Santa Sofia-Teatro Khmer (1986), La discesa di Inanna (1989), Gilgamesh (1990) and Iside e Osiride (1990). They were followed by the classical cycle with Amleto. La veemente esteriorità della morte di un mollusco (1992) from Shakespeare, Orestea (una commedia organica?) (1995) from Aeschylus, Giulio Cesare (1997) from Shakespeare. After Genesi. From the museum of sleep (1999), his interest turned to musical theatre: with the concert for voice and sound instruments Voyage au bout de la nuit (1999) inspired by Céline, and with Il Combattimento (2000) by Monteverdi and Scott Gibbons, presented at the Theatre Biennale in 2000.
In 2002, Romeo Castellucci conceived the Tragedia Endogonidia, a cycle of ten episodes that included a series of “bases” that corresponded to ten European cities. The same year he was awarded the title of “Chevalier dans l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres” by the Ministry of Culture of the French Republic. In 2005 he was the director of the 37th International Theatre Festival of the Biennale di Venezia, entitled “Pompei. The Book of Ashes”, which focused on the redefinition of the problem of representation, the reconsideration of the role of the spectator and an open approach to the forms of emerging theatre and to works not included in the traditional context of theatre. In 2007 he was named “artiste associé”, with Valérie Dréville, by the Artistic Direction of the Festival d’Avignon for the 62nd edition of the Festival (2008). It is here that Castellucci presented the trilogy Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso inspired by Dante’s Divina Commedia.