At the 2019 Prix Italia award ceremony on 28 September in Rome, Polish Radio’s A Ballad About a Song (Ballada o piesni) carried off top honours in the Radio Music category, sponsored by the EBU.
A Ballad About a Song tells the story of the unifying power of a song in the face of cultural diversity. In awarding the prize, the Radio Music Jury stated: “The narration sounds simple, but it is beautifully executed, resorting to the classical tools of recording, editing and mixing. The production achieves strong emotional impact while dealing with such key issues as art, music and politics. From Catalonia to Poland and beyond, A Ballad About a Song is a very engaging, moving and smart musical documentary.”
The Jury gave Special Mention to the BBC’s This Classical Life, which features the young saxophonist Jess Gillam, conversing with another young musician in off-the-cuff discussions on subjects ranging from Bowie to Berlioz.
The Radio Music Jury, chaired by Silvain Gire (ARTE France), also included Caroline Jamet (CBC/SRC), Luigi Picardi (VR), Gregor Pirs (RTVSLO), Andrzej Sulek (PR) and Andrea Zschunke (ARD).
The other shortlisted entries in the Radio Music category were City Soundwalk – Music of Silence at a Glorious Graveyard (HRT), Beethoven’s Quartets According to Kristian Leth, Episode 1: Structure and Miracles (DR), Audio.Space.Machine (ARD), The Woods and Grandma (RTÉ) and Venice Acoustics (RAI).
The Radio Music entries from the 71st Prix Italia will be available in due course as a Members’ Selection offer in MUSNew.
Founded on Capri in 1948, the Prix Italia was originally devoted only to Radio works. The competition is now divided into eight categories: three for Radio programmes, three for TV programmes and two for Web projects, as well as a Special Prize of the President of the Italian Republic. In 2018, 248 entries were sent to Prix Italia’s Competition from 48 broadcasters, representing 34 countries from all five continents.