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Ennio Morricone and John Williams

Princess of Asturias Award for the Arts 2020

In the course of its online meeting, the Jury for the 2020 Princess of Asturias Award for the Arts, made up of José María Cano de Andrés, María de Corral López-Dóriga, Oliver Díaz Suárez, Dionisio González Romero, Sergio Gutiérrez Sánchez, Ricardo Martí Fluxá, Fernando Masaveu Herrero, Joan Matabosch Grifoll, José María Pou Serra, Emilio Sagi Álvarez-Rayón, Benedetta Tagliabue, Patricia Urquiola Hidalgo and Aarón Zapico Braña, chaired by Miguel Zugaza Miranda and with Catalina Luca de Tena y García-Conde, Marchioness of Valle de Tena, acting as secretary, has decided to grant the 2020 Princess of Asturias Award for the Arts to the composers Ennio Morricone and John Williams in recognition of the fundamental value of musical composition for film.

The two recipients of the Award have enriched hundreds of films thanks to their talent. While Morricone built his reputation by putting European music to the American Wild West, Williams transferred the spirit of the Viennese symphonic tradition to Hollywood blockbusters. If there is one thing that the extensive, varied work of both composers has in common, it is their dazzling ability to cross genres and borders.

Endowed with unmistakable character, their works include some of the most iconic musical compositions of the silver screen, which now form part of the collective imaginary. Williams and Morricone show an absolute mastery of both composition and narrative, combining emotion, tension and lyricism at the service of cinematographic images. Their creations even go so far as to transform and transcend these images, sustaining themselves as magnificent symphonic works that are among the standard repertoire of major orchestras. All this makes them two of the most revered living composers worldwide.

Oviedo, 5th June 2020

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