Sir Paul McCartney awarded coveted prize in Israel

February 13, 2018 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The laureates of the 2018 Wolf Prize were announced at a special event hosted for the first time by the President of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, at his residence in Jerusalem. 

The jury panel of the 2018 Wolf Prize in Music has unanimously decided to award the prize in equal parts to two laureates: Sir Paul McCartney, the Orpheus of our era and Adam Fischer, inspirational conductor and eloquent defender of human rights.

Sir Paul McCartney

Sir Paul McCartney is one of the greatest songwriters of all time.  His versatility underlies an extraordinary wingspan, from the most physical rock to melodies of haunting and heartbreaking intimacy.  His lyrics have an equally broad range, from the naive and the charming to the poignant and even desperate.  He has touched the hearts of the entire world, both as a Beatle and in his subsequent bands, including Wings.  Like all great art, his melodies are both of their time and beyond time:  today a third generation finds itself under the spell of his invidious imagination.  There is little doubt that his songs, like those of the great classical masters Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Fauré, Debussy and Ravel, and like those of his more modern predecessors (among them Cole Porter, Jerome Kern and George Gershwin) will be sung and savored as long as there are human beings to lift up their voices.

With some 60 gold records and sales of more than 100 million singles in the course of his career, McCartney is arguably the most commercially successful performer and composer in popular music. The 1965 Beatles track Yesterday (wholly written by McCartney and performed alone with a string quartet) has been played some six million times on U.S. radio and television, far outstripping its nearest competitor. Moreover, with over 3,000 cover versions, it is also the most-recorded song ever. In 2009 the U.S. Library of Congress announced that McCartney would be awarded its Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

More than a rock musician, McCartney is now regarded as a British institution; an icon like warm beer and cricket, he has become part of British identity.

Adam Fischer

Ádám Fischer is one of the most distinguished conductors active today.  Trained in Budapest and Vienna, he has had a long association with the Vienna State Opera and was made an honorary member in 2017.  He held the post of principal conductor in Karlsruhe, general music director in Freiburg im Breisgau, and music director of the Kassel Opera.

He created an international Gustav Mahler Festival in Kassel and founded and directs the Austro-Hungarian Haydn Orchestra, performing in the venue in which Haydn premiered a majority of his symphonies.  His active career encompasses the major opera houses and most prestigious orchestras of the world.

His support of human rights, and in particular, his protest against the political developments in his native Hungary, make him an artist of exemplary integrity–a quality that shapes his interpretations as well as the morality of his stance.

The Wolf Foundation is proud to recognise in Ádám Fischer a musical leader beloved around the world, whose aspirations serve as an inspiration to us all.

The five awards, which total half a million dollars, will be divided this year between nine winners from five countries: United States, Canada, Japan, Hungary, and UK.

The prizes will be presented to the winners by President Rivlin at a special ceremony to be held at the Knesset in Jerusalem, at the end of May 2018.

  • The Wolf Prize for Music will be shared by two laureates: Sir Paul McCartney, for his seminal contribution to music in the modern era; and to Adam Fischer, an inspirational conductor and eloquent defender of human rights.
  • The Wolf Prize for Agriculture will be granted to Prof. Gene Robinson from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne, for leading the genomics revolution in organismal and population biology of the honeybee.
  • The Wolf Prize for Chemistry will be shared by two laureates: Prof. Omar Yaghi, University of California, Berkeley, for pioneering reticular chemistry via metal-organic frameworks and covalent organic framework; and Prof. Makoto Fujita from University of Tokyo, for conceiving metal-directed assembly principles leading to large highly porous complexes.
  • The Wolf Prize for Physics will be shared by two laureates: Prof. Charles H. Bennett from IBM Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY, USA, and Prof. Gilles Brassard from University of Montréal, Canada, for founding and advancing the fields of Quantum Cryptography and Quantum Teleportation.
  • The Wolf Prize for Mathematics will be shared by two laureates: Prof. Alexander Beilinson and Prof. Vladimir Drinfeld, both from the University of Chicago, for their groundbreaking work in algebraic geometry, representation theory, and mathematical physics.

The laureates are expected to arrive in Israel at the award ceremony and a series of related events at the end of May.


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