The Anner Bijlsma Award is an international oeuvre prize which is awarded once every so often to a person or institution that has proven to be of outstanding value to the cello or the cello repertoire. The prize was created in 2014 when the Cello Biennale celebrated its fifth appearance, and was first awarded to whom the prize is named after: Anner Bijlsma. The goal of the prize is to stimulate young talent. The prize consists of an amount of 50.000 euro, to be spent on talent development and education within the field of cello playing. The destination of the award is chosen by the laureate. The funds for the award are raised by the Stichting Anner Bijlsma Award, of which the board is formed by Job Cohen, Julienne Straatman, Anton Valk, Irene Witmer and Marjoleine de Boorder.
The Italian cellist and composer Giovanni Sollima receives the second Anner Bijlsma Award. Sollima is researcher, musician and composer in one. He is considered to be one of the top cellists of the world. His unlimited technical abilities, musical freedom and originality, as well as his huge amount of energy, make every concert an extraordinary experience. Sollima is also recognizable as a composer. His curiosity and interest in different cultures and styles contributed to incontestable masterpieces. As a researcher he brought the works of the Italian composer / cellist Giovanni Costanzi (1704-1788) to a bigger audience.
Sollima wants to stimulate the younger generation with the prize money. According to him, improvisation and composition are very important for the development as a musician. Therefore he wants to create a small label where young cellists can record an album, with as overall theme the major problems of this time.
Giovanni Sollima receives the price on Friday 19 october during the seventh edition of the Cello Biennale, from Job Cohen, chairman of the Stichting Anner Bijlsma Award. During the Biennale he will perform as an artist in residence. For more information about the concerts: www.cellobiennale.nl/en/artist/sollima/
Anner Bijlsma received the first award in 2014, and decided to spend the prize on various causes such as research projects in the early music field and fingerings in early cello music (Maximiliano Segura Sánchez and Job ter Haar), the development of two exceptional Dutch cello talents (Lidy Blijdorp and Alexander Warenberg), the reinforcement of educational activities of Cello8ctet Amsterdam, creating chances for young cellists by making connections with other art forms like theatre, literature, dance, and film (Oorkaan), and the project Start in Splendor.
The Anner Bijlsma Award allowed Maximiliano Segura Sanchez to perform research in Modena and Bologna, to study sources of the earliest cello music, and to perform and record the found works. During the Cello Biennale 2016, Maximiliano gave a performance of the old Italian music he studied, together with his ensemble which was created for this cause, Cappella Estense (Maximiliano Segura Sanchez - cello, Cristina Grifone - soprano, Panos Ilioppoulos - harpsichord, Janvier Ovejero Mayoral - chitarrone and baroque guitar).