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The Princess of Asturias Foundation

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Ennio Morricone and John Williams

Princess of Asturias Award for the Arts 2020

Statement by Ennio Morricone on being bestowed with the 2020 Princess of Asturias Award for the Arts

“I have chosen to write music as a form of communication. In fact, music without anybody listening to it does not make any sense. I have striven my whole life to improve, never to stand still, never to take a seat and look back on everything I have done. I am 92 years old and I see that the Spanish Royal Family and the Princess of Asturias Foundation wish to distinguish me with this prestigious Award. Today is a day for reflection, for thinking about the path already trodden, for humbly and gratefully feeling that, perhaps in the course of my work, I have been able to reach people and share with them the unique experience that is music. That is what the Princess of Asturias Award for the Arts means to me.

John Williams and I have travelled parallel paths in our careers, sharing the same love and commitment to music and to music in film. Writing music also means experiencing profound solitude and concentration. I feel that John and I share the same ethic and constant dedication that makes us not only colleagues, but also brothers.

Finally, I wish to dedicate this award to my wife Maria, who has always been at my side. Without her, I would not have had the tranquillity to devote myself to music on this long journey that I have been on. I wish to express my gratitude once more to the Royal Family. I will be happy and honoured to meet them on 16th October.”

Ennio Morricone
Rome, 5th June 2020

Statement by John Williams on being bestowed with the 2020 Princess of Asturias Award for the Arts

“I wish to express my very great honor in being chosen to receive the Princess of Asturias Award for the Arts. It has been a privilege to be able to devote my professional life to the art and craft of music composition, and to know that my music has reached so many through the medium of film is rewarding beyond any expectation. I also am pleased to share this award with my colleague, Maestro Morricone, for whom I have always had the greatest respect and admiration.

Particularly now, during these challenging times, when so many of our fellow world citizens are experiencing the effects of a global pandemic, music of all genres has the ability to bring us closer together, to bridge distances, provide comfort and ease suffering while inspiring unity and common purpose. I am grateful to the Princess of Asturias Foundation for their recognition of the essential importance of music and the arts in all our lives.”

John Williams
Los Angeles, 5th June 2020

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