Juan Trigos, Yair Klartag, Jordan Nobles, & Josef Bardanashvili Names 2024 Azrieli Music Prize Laureates

By Afton Wooten

The Azrieli Foundation has revealed its 2024 Azrieli Music Prizes laureates.

Juan Trigos won the first-ever Azrieli Commission for International Music – a prize created to promote greater intercultural understanding. Yair Klartag received the Azrieli Commission for Jewish Music. Jordan Nobles earned the Azrieli Commission for Canadian Music, and Josef Bardanashvili won the Azrieli Prize for Jewish Music.

Each cycle of Azrieli Music Prizes’s four music prizes focuses on an instrumentation category. The 2024 Laureates will compose choral works for a cappella choir and up to four additional instruments and/or vocal soloist(s). Trigos will honor the pre-Hispanic culture of his native Mexico with his commissioned work “Simetrías Prehispánicas.” The 20-minute composition for chorus, amplified flute, trombone, percussion and keyboards will incorporate text by anonymous and major Aztec poets from the 15th century in their original Nahuatl and Spanish translations. Klartag will create “The Parable of the Palace,” an 18-minute work for choir and four double basses. The work will draw on Jewish philosopher Maimonides’s (1138-1204). Nobles’s proposal is “Kanata for Large Choir,” a 15-minute tribute to the Canadian landscape inspired by travel across Canada. Each section of the new work will be composed on the land as Nobles travels through it. The work will feature the modern and First Nation names of the rivers, lakes and mountains from each province. Bardanashvili won for his “Light to My Path Choral Fantasy” for Mixed Choir, Saxophone, Percussion and Piano. Each movement in his composition grows from one of the various states of belief – supplication, ecstasy, doubt, gratitude – outlined in the Book of Psalms.

Each Laureate will receive a prize package valued at over CAD 200,000, including a cash award of CAD 50,000; a world-premiere performance of their prize-winning work in Montréal by the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal Chorus at the Azrieli Music Prizes Gala Concert on Oct. 28, 2024; two subsequent international performances; and a professional recording of their prize-winning work.

Chaya Czernowin, Tania León, Dr. Neil W. Levin, Samy Moussa, Gerard Schwarz, and Ana Sokolović selected the winning commissions.