Handel Prize winner 2019

Silke Leopold

In 2019, the City of Halle Handel Prize awarded by the Handel House Foundation is to go to Emeritus Professor Dr. Silke Leopold.

With this award, the Handel House Foundation Board of Trustees, chaired by the Mayor of Halle Dr. Bernd Wiegand, is paying tribute to her outstanding services to research into Handel’s music. In doing so, it is following a unanimous decision by the Foundation's Advisory Council. In her pioneering studies on Baroque music at the European level, Emeritus Professor Dr. Silke Leopold has undertaken a detailed investigation of Handel’s oratorios and operas. The fruits of these labours include not only important essays and general presentations in manuals and encyclopaedias, but also an important book on Handel’s operas, written in 2009. The work of Professor Leopold is not only academically flawless; it stands out also thanks to its extremely readable style which is understandable by all and has ensured a large circulation for her books. The city of Handel's birth has always been an important reference point for Professor Leopold: she has frequently participated in Handel conferences and published articles in the Handel Yearbook, held festival lectures at the Handel Festival and, since 2014, has sat on the panel of judges of the Handel Research Prize. The Handel Prize is awarded to individuals or ensembles for special artistic, academic or political and cultural achievements which correspond to the efforts of Halle an der Saale to preserve Handel’s musical heritage at the international level. This prize is an honorary award with no monetary value.

At 10am on 1 June 2019, Emeritus Professor Dr. Silke Leopold will deliver a festival lecture entitled From A(thalia) to Z(enobia): Handel’s Gallery of Strong Women in Stadthaus am Markt. She will then receive the City of Halle Handel Prize, awarded by the Handel House Foundation, as part of the short concert entitled Handel’s Female Characters. The Il Giratempo ensemble and soprano Margriet Buchberger will present sophisticated and inspired interpretations of arias from the Handel operas Alcina, Lotario, Radamisto and Atalanta.

Silke Leopold was born in Hamburg in 1948 and read musicology, dramatics, Romance studies and literature studies in Hamburg and Rome where, after her doctorate, she spent three years as a research fellow at the German Historical Institute. From 1980, she taught at the Technical University of Berlin as the assistant to Carl Dahlhaus. In addition to this, she lectured at Harvard University in Cambridge in the state of Massachusetts in the United States of America from 1985 to 1986. In 1987, she became a professor at TU Berlin. From 1991 to 1996, she was full professor of Musicology at Paderborn University and the Hochschule für Musik Detmold (Detmold University of Music), and from 1996 to 2014 full professor and director of the Musicology Seminar in Heidelberg. Silke Leopold was the winner of the Dent Medal in 1986. From 2001 to 2007 she was vice-rector of Heidelberg University and is the corresponding member of the American Musicological Society, a member of the advisory council of the German Historical Institute in Rome, a member of the Academy of Mozart Research at the Mozarteum Foundation in Salzburg, a fellow of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and speaker of the Musicology Publications commission of the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities. Her research focuses mainly on C. Monteverdi,

G. F. Handel, W. A. Mozart, the Italian music of the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries, historically informed performance practice and the problems of writing the history of music.

List of the Handel Prize winner: https://www.haendelhaus.de/de/directory/32/82.