On 7 June, 2019, the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation awarded the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize to the composer Rebecca Saunders. Peter Ruzicka, chairman of the foundation board and member of the Bayerischen Akademie der Schönen Künste, presented the award at a musical ceremony in Munich's Prinzregententheater.
The laudation was given by Marco Blaauw, a trumpet player and friend with whom Saunders has worked closely with for over 20 years. Rebecca Saunders received the award for her incredible oeuvre. From Behind the Velvet Curtain to Scar, her work has undergone gradual changes without ever losing the essence of her voice. She always remains true to her musical DNA. Every new work seems to be an act of courage to find questions surrounding the human condition, which is fragile and fallible. There is an honesty and truth in her music that is not necessarily always beautiful.
Musikfabrik, conducted by Enno Poppe, performed Saunders' Skin
(2016) for soprano (Juliet Fraser) and 13 instruments. During the ceremony, the Cologne-based ensemble also presented a world premiere of Mithatcan Öcal, extracts of Annesley Black's multimedia piece Tolerance Stacks and On Magnetic Fields by Ann Cleare, a work for large ensemble divided into three chamber music groups, with the three young composers winning Komponisten-Förderpreisen.