The Kyoto Prize - celebrating technology, sciences and the arts

PIERRE BOULEZ, 25th laureate in “Arts and Philosophy” to address and conduct at San Diego's annual KYOTO PRIZE SYMPOSIUM

Thursday, April 22, 3:30 to 5:15 p.m. at Shiley Theatre, University of San Diego


SAN DIEGO, CA: Due to the Icelandic volcano eruption that has crippled air travel to and from Europe, Maestro Pierre Boulez, the 2009 recipient of the Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy will not be attending Thursday afternoon’s presentation at the University of San Diego.

Although he is extremely disappointed to miss the presentation and the opportunity to interact with San Diego’s music community, Maestro Boulez and the nine talented musicians who have spent months preparing for Thursday’s event have insisted “the show must go on.”

To assist with the performance, the University of San Diego has enlisted the assistance of three very talented San Diego music professionals.

The famed Jahja Ling, Music Director for the San Diego Symphony, will provide introductory remarks. And, Phillipe Manoury, an esteemed composer and Professor of Music at UC San Diego has agreed to deliver Maestro Boulez’s prepared commentary while Steven Schick, conductor of the La Jolla Symphony conducts the nine-member orchestra’s performance of excerpts for Boulez’s famed Sur Incises.

“It was devastating to learn that Maestro Boulez would be unable to travel to San Diego, however, we have assured him that in spite of his physical absence, his presence would be felt through his music and the beautiful video tribute,” commented Mary E. Lyons, President of the University of San Diego. “We are delighted to have the enthusiastic support of Messrs. Ling, Manoury and Schick, and assure our guests that this year’s Kyoto Laureate Symposium will be an unforgettable experience,” added Lyons.


“Each year our city welcomes the KYOTO PRIZE laureates—some of the world’s greatest intellects and artists—who have made great contributions to the betterment of humanity,” said Robert Horsman, regional chairman of U.S. Bank, who chairs the non-profit Kyoto Symposium Organization. “This ideal and the presence of the Kyoto Prize in San Diego are inspiring unprecedented collaborations among our region’s universities, research institutions, arts organizations and the business community at large.”

San Diego's Kyoto Prize Symposium is a three-day celebration of the lives and works of those receiving the Kyoto Prize, a lifetime achievement award presented annually to individuals and groups worldwide who have contributed significantly to humankind's scientific, cultural, and spiritual development. The symposium lectures are open to the public at no charge. The prize is presented annually in three categories: Advanced Technology, Basic Sciences, and Arts and Philosophy.

Maestro PIERRE BOULEZ, world renowned composer and conductor, and Honorary Director of the Institute for Research and Coordination Acoustic/Music (IRCAM), is the 25th Kyoto Prize laureate in “Arts and Philosophy.” Maestro Boulez has consistently set new trends in music composition, conducting, writing, and organizational administration, winning fame as the world’s “greatest composer of serial music” and has contributed to the development of computer music through his own electro-acoustic techniques.

At the Kyoto Prize Symposium, Maestro Boulez will conduct selections from his famous composition, Sur Incises, with an ensemble featuring some of the world's most outstanding performers of new music. He will discuss the specific effects he strives to achieve using the unusual instrumentation of three pianos, three harps, and three percussionists with tuned instruiments, such as steel drums and marimba. Though Maestro Boulez conducts regularaly in the United States, the insights gained as he explains and illustrates his musical ideas promise to make this a unique experience for all who attend. Maestro Boulez will be introduced by Jahja Ling, conductor of the San Diego Symphony.

The event will be held on Thursday April 22, 2010 from 3:30-5:15 pm at University of San Diego's Shiley Theatre .

Admission is free, however online registration is required. REGISTER HERE .

Shiley Hall is also the venue for the USD Symphony Orchestra Golden Anniversary Concerts "Czech it out" on Friday, April 23 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 25 at 2 p.m. The concert program includes works by B. Smetana, A. Dvorák, H. Kolar, B. Chow, R. Schumann, W.A. Mozart,   and J. Haydn

The other 25th KYOTO PRIZE laureates are:

Basic Sciences

DRS. PETER AND ROSEMARY GRANT, evolutionary biologists and professors emeriti at Princeton University, the first husband-and-wife team to receive the award. Over nearly 40 years of field research on the Galápagos Islands, the Grants have demonstrated that natural selection allows the morphology and behavior of Darwin’s finches to change rapidly in response to environmental fluctuations. In simple terms, they have shown that natural selection occurs continuously—even as we watch. Their address, “In Darwin’s Footsteps,” will showcase their observations of rapid evolution, Wednesday, April 21, 3:30-5:00 p.m. at University of California, San Diego.

Advanced Technology

DR. ISAMU AKASAKI, a semiconductor scientist, university professor at Nagoya University and professor at Meijo University in Japan. Dr. Akasaki pursued his dream to develop the world’s first blue Light-Emitting Diode (LED)—once considered impossible by the scientific community. His pioneering contributions to the development of blue LEDs and blue lasers have led to better data storage, sharper video and movies, and environment-friendly lighting products based on energy-saving LED technology. Dr. Akasaki will discuss “Enchanted Journeys in Blue Light,” Thursday, April 22, 10:00-11:30 a.m. at San Diego State University.

The KYOTO PRIZE is Japan’s highest private award for global achievement. It is presented annually by the non-profit Inamori Foundation to individuals and groups worldwide who have made outstanding contributions to the betterment of humanity. The award consists of academic honors, a 20-karat gold medal and a cash gift of 50 million yen (about $550,000).

The laureates are selected through a strict and impartial process considering candidates recommended from around the world. As of November 10, 2009, the Kyoto Prize has been awarded to 81 individuals and one foundation – collectively representing 13 nations. Kyoto Prize laureates range from scientists, engineers and researchers to philosophers, painters, architects, sculptors, musicians and film directors. The United States has produced the most recipients (33), followed by Japan (13), the United Kingdom (12), and France (eight).

The non-profit Inamori Foundation was established in Kyoto, Japan, in 1984 by Dr. Kazuo Inamori, a Japanese humanitarian and founder of both Kyocera and KDDI Corporation. The Kyoto Prize in 1985, in reflection of Dr. Inamori's belief that human beings have no higher calling than to strive for the greater good of society, and that mankind’s future can be assured only when there is a balance between science, technology and the human spirit.

The KYOTO PRIZE SYMPOSIUM ORGANIZATION is a non-profit organization founded in 2004 to organize and administer San Diego's Kyoto Prize Symposium. It is dedicated to promoting education and expanding the mission of the non-profit Inamori Foundation, and the Foundation's Kyoto Prize, in North America. Major activities of the Kyoto Symposium Organization include co-hosting the annual Kyoto Prize Symposium in conjunction with San Diego's major universities; holding an annual benefit gala; and funding the Kyoto Scholarships, which are awarded to high-school seniors in the greater San Diego / Tijuana region who plan to continue their education at an accredited four-year university. The Symposium also offers unique educational opportunities through public lectures by the esteemed laureates of the Kyoto Prize.

The 2010-2011 Kyoto Scholarships are awarded to high school seniors—three each from San Diego and Tijuana—who have been inspired by the laureates to improve our world. Given in the broad categories of advanced technology, basic sciences, and arts and philosophy, the six Kyoto Scholarships are valued at $10,000 each.

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