LOS ANGELES — Leonard Cohen — the eclectic artist-musician whose output spans rock, classical and new music — has won the Ninth Glenn Gould Prize. The prestigious award, handed out once every few years, honors individuals for lifetime contribution in the arts.
The prize, named after the late Canadian piano virtuoso, comes with a cash award of 50,000 Canadian dollars ($51,845 American) as well as the opportunity to name a young artist as a “prize protege,” who will receive an award of 15,000 Canadian dollars.
Cohen said in a statement that the award is “a great honor, sweetened by my love of the work of Glenn Gould, and our collective appreciation of his invigorating and enduring presence in the world of Music and Imagination.”
This year’s prize jury included filmmaker Atom Egoyan, actor Stephen Fry, pianist Gary Graffman, recording executive Costa Pilavachi, producer Phoebe Greenberg, singer Elaine Overholt and the Chinese artist known as Dadawa. The jury was headed by Paul Hoffert.
The previous winner of the Glenn Gould Prize in 2008 was Jose Antonio Abreu, the founder of Venezuela’s El Sistema music-education program. He chose as his protege for the prize conductor Gustavo Dudamel, who at the time had not yet begun his tenure as the music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Other past winners include conductor Andre Previn in 2005; conductor Pierre Boulez in 2002; cellist Yo-Yo Ma in 1999; composer Toru Takemitsu in 1996; jazz artist Oscar Peterson in 1993; violinist Yehudi Menuhin in 1990; and composer R. Murray Schafer in 1987.