Léonie Sonning Awards 2000

Michala Petri

Michala Petri received the Léonie Sonning Music Prize of DKK 400,000 at a concert held at 7.30pm on Saturday, 17 June 2000 in Tivoli Concert Hall.

The music prize was presented by the head of music at Tivoli, Lars Grunth, who gave a warm, personal speech that included the memory of his first meeting with Michala when, as an 11-year-old, she was soloist with the Tivoli orchestra, where her father was a violinist. Everyone was sceptical before the concert, but after the morning rehearsal no one doubted that she was something quite special. She is being awarded the prize not only because she is a world-ranking musician but also for her fine musical temperament, he said.

The programme

Piers Hellawell Drum of the Nådj. Concerto for recorder, percussion and orchestra (Danish first performance) Dedicated to Michala Petri and Evelyn Glennie
Per Nørgård Twilight dialogue. For solo recorder (first performance)
Steven Stucky Etudes. For recorder and strings (first performance)
G.P. Telemann Suite in A minor for alto recorder and strings
J.S. Bach Violin Concerto in G minor
G.P.Telemann Viola Concerto in G major
Antonio Vivaldi Concerto in G major for recorder and strings (Danish first performance of the original version)

Michala Petri, recorder
Rainer Kussmaul, violin
Wolfram Christ, viola

Tivoli Symphony Orchestra (before the interval)
Conductor: Giordano Bellincampi.
Berliner Barocksolisten (after the interval)


The 2000 Léonie Sonning Music Prize of Kr. 400,000 is awarded to Michala Petri for her fine musical temperament and superior technical prowess. She has preserved and developed the traditional repertoire of her instrument and is furthermore an excellent interpreter of present-day compositions. Ever in search of new challenges, Michala Petri has inspired numerous first performances and constantly developed her musicianship in new musical combinations. With her exceptional playing, she has ensured the place of the recorder as a modern solo instrument and has also managed to appeal to a broad audience. Michala Petri is a soloist and chamber player of world class and yet still constantly developing as a musician.

In connection with the prize-giving concert

Danish TV broadcast the film Michala Petri, produced by Cubus Film and Danish TV with financial support from the Léonie Sonning Music Foundation.

Selected Music by Michala Petri

The daily press

wrote, among other things:

"[…] in the second encore – the second movement of Vivaldi’s recorder concerto in C major – she created an expressiveness in her musical performance that one would not have thought possible on a recorder [...] She is a musical personality of a stature rarely seen in the course of a century. ‘Good enough’ does not exist in her world. ‘Always moving on’ would be a more apt description of her ambition as an artist [...]"

(Anders Beyer, Information, 19 June 2000)

"[...] and precisely whirlwind virtuosity at a fast tempo seems more than anything to liberate the musician in Michala Petri with incomparable elegance, good spirits and real drive [...] Her limitation lies in the singable expressiveness of more sedate tempos, especially because she is bound by a rhythm that is true to the letter and that does not give room for the rhetorical freedom of the baroque [...]"

(Jan Jacoby, Politiken, 19 June 2000)

"[...] and Per Nørgård’s small, introvert solo for the alto recorder, ‘Twilight dialogue’, seems an obvious inclusion in Michala Petri’s comprehensive solo repertoire. There lurks a Queen of Spades in music, and she seems far-removed from Michala Petri’s private expression. But precisely for that reason: everyone has many aspects, and a Sonning Prize-winner has exceptionally many. That is why the prize is so deserved."

(Knud Cornelius, Dagbladet Roskilde Tidende, 19 June 2000)