HK Gruber Lifetime Distinguished Achievement Awardee
Foundation president Kim H. Kowalke presented the eighth Lifetime Distinguished Achievement Award to composer/conductor/chansonnier HK (“Nali”) Gruber (1943- ) in Bonn, Germany on 21 September at a gala reception following the world premiere by the Ensemble Modern of Gruber’s 15-player orchestration of Die sieben Todsünden. For more than three decades Gruber has sung, conducted, arranged, and recorded much of Weill’s European repertoire. His dedication to Weill’s musical legacy is also exemplified in his own compositions, which honor, without any sense of imitation, the tradition of accessible musical language in the service of drama, communication, and stylistic eclecticism. His performances and recordings include most of Weill’s concert works, the Songspiel and opera versions of Mahagonny, Die Dreigroschenoper, Happy End, Marie galante, as well as the landmark compilation disc “Berlin im Licht,” which his mentor David Drew (then Director of New Music at Boosey & Hawkes) curated.