Emmanuel Pahud


French-Swiss flautist Emmanuel Pahud will receive Denmark’s largest music prize, the Léonie Sonning Music Prize, in 2024.

2024 also marks the year where the Léonie Sonning Music Prize will be awarded outside Copenhagen for the first time since 1990. This will occur at a large-scale award concert in Odense Concert Hall on Thursday, 30 May.


One of the world’s leading flautists, Emmanuel Pahud, will be awarded the Léonie Sonning Music Prize and the accompanying DKK 1,000,000 in 2024. Esben Tange, chairman of the Léonie Sonning Music Foundation, explains the background for the choice of next year’s recipient:

“Flautist Emmanuel Pahud is one of the woodwind superstars, embodying classical ideals of beauty, elegance and equilibrism while simultaneously being a driving force in the creation of new works with a modern edge. Emmanuel Pahud is unique in his ability to be part of a collective – as principal flautist of the Berliner Philharmoniker and as a passionate chamber musician – and to perform as a high-profile soloist, creating innovative solo programmes where new and old enter into dialogue. A master in his field. And an inspiration to audiences and younger generations of musicians alike.”

Emmanuel Pahud is proud to receive the Léonie Sonning Music Prize:
“What an overwhelming feeling to learn that you are the next recipient of the Leonie Sonning’s Music Prize! I will be looking forward to presenting fascinating creative programmes across Denmark around the award ceremony. This prestigious Music Prize will give me a new impulse to explore further horizons. It is with a lot of pride, but humbled and in awe at the achievements of past recipients, that I express my deepest gratitude to the Léonie Sonning Foundation,” says Emmanuel Pahud.


During 2024, there will be plenty of opportunities to experience Emmanuel Pahud on Danish soil when this year’s award winner is honoured with a mini festival. Among other things, the protagonist will give concerts in the country’s three largest cities and at Louisiana. Emmanuel Pahud’s visit to Denmark will culminate with an award concert in Odense Concert Hall on 30 May 2024.

Esben Tange explains more about the mini festival with Emmanuel Pahud:
“It is with pride and pleasure that we at the Léonie Sonning Music Foundation, in collaboration with a number of institutions from Funen, Zealand and Jutland, can invite you to a mini festival where Emmanuel Pahud and his art are presented to a large audience in Denmark. And with a prize concert featuring not only the Odense Symphony Orchestra and soloists but also a large “choir” of future Danish flautists, the stage is set for a flute festival.”

Trine Boje Mortensen, music director of Odense Symphony Orchestra, agrees:
“The Léonie Sonning Music Prize award concert is a celebration of the greatest international artists on Danish soil. It is the absolute highlight of the year when it comes to international stars and, not least, a historically important milestone in our classical music scene. Therefore, it is a huge honour to be allowed to collaborate with the Foundation to make this celebration take place outside Copenhagen and for the first time since 1981 in Odense. The fact that the award goes to a friend of the house, the flautist Emmanuel Pahud, who has been one of Carl Nielsen International Competition’s advisors and who is a phenomenal interpreter of Carl Nielsen’s Flute Concerto, makes it even more of a project close to our hearts.”

The award winner is also looking forward to the award concert in Odense and the mini festival:
“The Prize Concert with the Odense Symphony Orchestra and Anu Tali makes me very happy, with a programme echoing great works by Debussy, Nielsen, Gubaidulina and a new commission by Léonie Sonning Foundation to Bára Gísladóttir in an unheard alchemy of Solo, Chamber Music and Orchestral music celebrating the flute,”  says Pahud and continues:

“In the form of an intense Festival, I will be playing different Solo recitals in the iconic Louisiana Museum and Aarhus Konserthuset, building bridges across times and places, from Bach or Telemann to today. With the Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhagen, we will perform a collection of works for Flute and Ensemble that are in my view milestones of our repertoire, from Frank Martin to Boulez, Carter, and Jarrell.”

See the programme for the mini festival below.


Emmanuel Pahud was born in 1970 in Geneva and travelling and moving have been a big part of Pahud’s life since childhood. Pahud’s first encounter with a flute was at the age of four when he heard his neighbour playing Mozart’s Flute Concerto No. 1 while the family was living in Rome. At the age of six, Pahud started playing the flute himself, and things took off from there. In 1990, Pahud graduated with first place (Premier Prix) from the Paris Conservatoire and went on to study with Swiss flautist Aurèle Nicolet. Since then, he has developed into one of the world’s most honoured flautists and is now the recipient of the Léonie Sonning Music Prize, Denmark’s most important music award.

The Léonie Sonning Music Prize has been awarded since 1959, with influential composer Igor Stravinsky being the first recipient. Scottish solo percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie received the prize in 2023, which comes with DKK 1,000,000.


Emmanuel Pahud, who currently lives in Berlin, has often visited Denmark. After his debut with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra in 1999 in Mozart’s Flute Concerto No. 1, he gave several concerts in Denmark until 2006, both as a soloist with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, as a chamber musician and as a soloist. Since 2005, Emmanuel Pahud has performed regularly at the art museum Louisiana together with pianist Éric le Sage and the ensemble Les Vents Francais, and his most recent visit to Louisiana took place in 2022.

In 2021, Emmanuel Pahud also visited Denmark in the company of the Berliner Philharmoniker at a highly acclaimed concert at Musikhuset in Aarhus.


Thursday 30th May at 7:30 p.m.
Odense Concert Hall

Foyer, in the square in front of the Concert Hall and in the Concert Hall. Intrada and procession.

Bára Gísladóttir: Ms Ephemeris Abyss (2022-23) for seven alto flutes. Arranged for large flute choir First Performance (15′)

Viibra Flute Ensemble and students from the Danish music conservatoires and others.

In the concert hall
Bára Gísladóttir: Solo for flute (8′) First performance.
Claude Debussy: Syrinx Solo (4)
Claude Debussy: Prélude a l’aprés-midi d’un Faune (11′)
Carl Nielsen: Helios Ouverture (1903) (7′)
Carl Nielsen: Concerto for flute and orchestra (1926) (19′)


Claude Debussy: Sonata for flute, viola and harp (1915) (17′)
Sofia Gubaidulina: Music for flute, strings and percussion (1994) (33′)
Emmanuel Pahud, flute
Rafaell Altino, viola (Debussy Sonata)
Zachery Hatcher, harp (Debussy Sonata)
Odense Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Anu Tali

Other concerts

Sunday 10 March at 4:00 p.m.
Black Diamond, Royal Danish Library
Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhagen

Pierre Boulez: Memoriale flute, strings, two horns (1985/1993) (7′)
Frank Martin: Ballade flute, strings and piano (1939/1941) (7′)
Elliott Carter: Flute Concerto (2008) (14′)
Michael Jarrell: Flute Concerto Un temps de silence (2007/2018) (25′)
Works for Sinfonietta. TBA
Conductor: Anu Tali

Friday 31 May at 8:00 p.m.
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art

CPE Bach: Solo Sonata in A minor Wq.132 (1747) (11’)
Eric Montalbetti: Memento Emmanuaile (2020) (6′)
André Jolivet: 5 Incantations (22′)
JS Bach: Solo Partita A-minor BWV1013 (15′)
Philippe Manoury Soubresauts (2020) (7’30)

Saturday 1 June 11 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
The Royal Danish Academy of Music, The Studio Hall

Masterclass in six disciplines

  • Baroque
  • Mozart Concerts
  • Orchestra solo
  • Flute concertos/sonatas
  • New music for flute
  • Chamber music. Mozart Quartet or Debussy Trio

Artist talk. Q and A.
Aspects of life as a modern flautist

Sunday 2 June 07:30 p.m.
Aarhus Concert Hall. Aarhus Music Association

Tōru Takemitsu: Voice (1971)
Georg Philipp Telemann: Fantasia No. 1 in A TWV 40:2 (1733)
Matthias Pintscher: Beyond (A System of Passing) (2013)
Georg Philipp Telemann: Fantasia No. 10 in F sharp minor TWV 40:11 (1733)
Jörg Widmann: Petite suite (in memoriam Aurèle Nicolet) (2016)
Georg Philipp Telemann: Fantasia No. 5 in C TWV 40:6 (1733)
Alexandre Desplat: Airlines (2020)
Georg Philipp Telemann: Fantasia No. 6 in D minor TWV 40:7 (1733)
Michael Jarrell: Le point est la source de tout (Epitome II) (2020)
Georg Philipp Telemann: Fantasia No. 7 in D TWV 40:8 (1733)
Edgard Varèse: Density 21.5 (1936)

Video production

Carl Nielsen: The fog is lifting og The Children are Playing fra The Mother op. 41
Emmanuel Pahud, flute
Zachary Hatcher, harpe

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