02-05-2010 10:40 AM CET - Arts & Culture

Frankfurt Music Prize 2010 for Keyboard legend Keith Emerson

Press release from: Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH
Keith Emerson
Keith Emerson
Founding member of Emerson, Lake & Palmer to receive the prize on the occasion of Musikmesse 2010 – speech by Greg Lake

Award for artistic and technical innovation

The Frankfurt Music Prize 2010 goes to Keith Emerson, keyboard player and founding member, with Greg Lake, of the progressive-rock band, Emerson, Lake & Palmer. The presentation will take place at the ‘Römer’, Frankfurt’s Town Hall, on the eve of the Musikmesse, 23 March 2010. The Board of Trustees of the Frankfurt Music Prize describe Keith Emerson as an innovative artist who has not only pushed out the genre’s boundaries with his music but also had a decisive influence on the technology of electronic keyboard instruments through his keyboard playing.

Worth € 15,000, the Frankfurt Music Prize is donated by the Federal Association of German Musical Instrument Manufacturers (Bundesverband der Deutschen Musikinstrumenten-Hersteller e. V. - BDMH) and Messe Frankfurt GmbH. It will be presented by the Head of the Cultural Affairs Department of the City of Frankfurt, Prof. Felix Semmelroth. The speech in hour of Keith Emerson will be given by Greg Lake, a founding member of Emerson’s most important band, Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Additionally, the prize winner will give an exclusive short performance during the presentation ceremony.

Keith Emerson
Keith Emerson was born in Todmorden, Lancashire, England, in 1944 and, as a child, became renowned locally for his piano playing. He moved to London, where he joined the bands ‘V.I.P.’s’ and ‘Gary Farr and the T-Bones’. In his twenties, he formed a band called ‘The Nice’ and adopted the Hammond Organ as his instrument of choice. Even at this early stage, he became famed for his outrageous antics on stage and inspired musical performances that blurred the boundaries between rock, blues, jazz and classical music. Early influences on Emerson included blues and jazz musicians, such as Fats Waller, Oscar Peterson, Jack McDuff and Dave Brubeck, as well as classical composers such as J.S. Bach, Aaron Copland, Shostakovich and Béla Bartók.

In 1970, he joined forces with bassist / vocalist Greg Lake and drummer Carl Palmer to form ‘Emerson, Lake & Palmer’. With them, he achieved his greatest successes, recorded numerous Platinum albums and toured the whole world. The English progressive rock group even made it into the Top Ten with their single, Lucky Man. This was also the time that Emerson discovered the Moog synthesizer. He was one of the first artists to use the instrument in live performances and thus helped it achieve greater renown. Later, he cooperated with the inventor of the Moog synthesizers, Dr. Robert Moog, on further developments.
Keith Emerson recorded several albums with Emerson, Lake & Palmer and enjoyed international success with them. After the group disbanded, he formed ‘Emerson, Lake & Powell’ and ‘3’. Around this time, he began working more as a solo artist and put out albums with solo piano works, including a much acclaimed piano concerto. He also wrote and produced film music in the eighties and nineties of the last century. Since 2004, he has been recording and touring extensively with his own group, the ‘Keith Emerson Band’. Over the years, Emerson has often been voted Overall Best Keyboardist in the Keyboard Magazine readers’ poll. An Emerson & Lake tour as a duo is scheduled to happen in the USA in April 2010. Furthermore, an eagerly awaited reunion concert will be held on 24 July 2010 when, 40 years after they opened the Isle of White Festival, Emerson, Lake & Palmer will be the opening act at the High Voltage Festival in London’s Victoria Park.

With his compositions and playing, Keith Emerson has always tried to overcome the boundaries between rock, pop, jazz and classical music. Thus, at the debut concert of Emerson, Lake & Palmer during the Isle of Wight Festival, the group opened with a piece from Mussorgsky’s ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’. Since then, Emerson has pursued this artistic flexibility in his solo works, film compositions and band projects throughout his entire career.

Frankfurt Music Prize
The Frankfurt Music Prize was founded in 1980 and is awarded annually on the occasion of the international Musikmesse in Frankfurt by the Trustees of the Frankfurt Music Prize Foundation (Kuratorium Stiftung Frankfurter Musikpreis zur Internationalen Musikmesse Frankfurt) to personalities from the world of music for special achievements in the fields of interpretation, composition, musicology and teaching. The Frankfurt Music Prize is donated by the Federal Association of German Musical Instrument Manu¬facturers (Bundesverband der Deutschen Musikinstrumenten-Hersteller e. V. - BDMH) and Messe Frankfurt GmbH. The prize is presented each year on the eve of the International Musikmesse.
The Frankfurt Music Prize is awarded annually in alternate years in the fields of classical and popular music (jazz, rock, pop). In 2011, it will once again be given for achievements in the field of classical music. The Board of Trustees of the Frankfurt Music Prize Foundation consists of three permanent members and up to four elected members:
•The Mayor of the City of Frankfurt am Main as Chairperson
•The Chairperson of the Federal Association of German Musical Instrument Manufacturers (Bundesverband der Deutschen Musikinstrumenten-Hersteller e.V. - BDMH) as Deputy Chairperson
•The Chairperson of the Board of Management of Messe Frankfurt GmbH as Deputy Chairperson
•Two representatives of the German Music Council (Deutscher Musikrat) and
•Two representatives from German music academies.

Winners of the Frankfurter Music Prize:
1982 Gidon Kremer (violinist)
1983 Edgar Krapp (organist)
1984 Alfred Brendel (pianist)
1985 Brigitte Fassbaender (opera singer)
1986 Albert Mangelsdorff (jazz trombonist)
1987 Carl Dahlhaus (musicologist)
1988 Heinz Holliger (oboist
1989 Ludwig Güttler (trumpeter)
1990 Chick Corea (jazz pianist)
1991 Aribert Reimann (composer)
1992 Georg Solti (conductor)
1993 Harry Kupfer (director)
1994 Brian Eno (musician and sound artist)
1995 Tabea Zimmermann (violist)
1996 Wolfgang Niedecken (singer and songwriter)
1997 Prof. Hans Zender (composer and conductor)
1998 Peter Herbolzheimer (arranger, interpreter and composer)
1999 Prof. Michael Gielen (conductor and composer)
2000 Klaus Doldinger (saxophonist)
2001 Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (singer)
2002 No Prize awarded
2003 Walter Levin (violinist & professor of chamber music)
2004 Udo Lindenberg (rock musician)
2005 György Ligeti (composer)
2006 Peter Gabriel (pop / rock musician)
2007 Peter Eötvös (conductor and composer)
2008 Paquito D’Rivera (saxophonist, clarinettist, composer)
2009 Dr. José Antonio Abreu (conductor, composer, mentor)
2010 Keith Emerson (musician, composer)

We will be pleased to send you a detailed biography, photographs and further information on request.
You will also find further information on the internet at www.musikmesse.com

Musikmesse is the world's biggest international trade fair for musical instruments, music software & computer hardware, sheet music, music production and marketing. Around 78,000 trade visitors from the musical-instrument sector – manufacturers, dealers, professional and amateur musicians – made their way to Frankfurt for the last event in April 2009. The Musikmesse is complemented perfectly by the Prolight + Sound trade fair, which is held at Frankfurt Fair and Exhibition Centre at the same time. Additionally, Musikmesse visitors have free entry to Prolight + Sound, International Fair of Technologies and Services for Events and Entertainment.

Andreas Höflich
B74 Marketingkommunikation
Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH
Ludwig-Erhard-Anlage 1
60327 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Tel. +49 (0)69 7575-6866
Fax +49 (0)69 7575-6099

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