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Queen Sofìa of Spain hands out music prize in Madrid

Picture by Oscar Gonzalez / i-Images

On Friday, Queen Emerita Sofìa of Spain was at Teatro Monumental in Madrid to watch a concert featuring the debut of the winning composition and to hand out a music prize bearing her name. 

Her Majesty, who is still a member of The Royal Family, despite her husband’s abdication and self-imposed exile to Dubai, has presided over the Doña Sofìa music prize since its creation almost 40 years ago. The prize helps support Spanish composers and funnels Her Majesty’s love for classical music. At her arrival at the theatre, Queen Sofìa was welcomed by the Spanish Minister of Culture and Sport, the President of the Ferrer-Salat Musical Foundation and a representative of the Administration Council of RTVE (Radio TeleVisiòn Española), the Spanish public television. 

The 37th ‘Premio Reina Sofìa de Composición Musical’ (Queen Sofìa Musical Composition Prize) went to Carlos Fontcuberta, from Valencia, for his opera ‘Trencadìs’, which debuted on Friday night on the occasion of the prize ceremony. The concert also featured two other musical pieces, ‘Pierrot Lunaire’ by Schoenberg and ‘Mystery of the Macabre’ by Ligeti. 

At the end of the concert, and after handing out the prize to Mr Fontcuberta, Queen Sofìa held a meeting with the prize winner and his wife, as well as soloists, orchestra members and the conductor of the evening.

The Queen Sofia Music Prize is handed out every year and consists of €35,000 (roughly £30000 or $43000), a plaque handed out by Her Majesty and the playing of the winning piece by the country’s most prestigious orchestra, the orchestra of RTVE. 

This prize was supposed to be handed out in 2020, but the ceremony had to be called off amid the coronavirus pandemic that gripped Spain. The country still has strict measures in place, which is why, despite having been vaccinated a few months ago with the rest of the citizens in her age group, Queen Sofìa was seen sporting a KN95 face mask, a precaution that is still recommended for indoor events.