The Franco Buitoni Award was conceived by BBT founder Ilaria Borletti Buitoni as a tribute to her late husband Franco (1934-2016), co-founder of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust.
Ilaria, and some of Franco’s friends including Mitsuko Uchida, Jonathan Biss and Andrew Starling, reflect on his lifetime of loving chamber music and the bonds he formed with so many musicians, both in his role as Chair of Amici della Musica di Perugia for over three decades and and through forming the Trust. His legacy continues with this special award in his name.
Franco Buitoni Award 2019: Quartetto di Cremona
Quartetto di Cremona is the winner of the second Franco Buitoni Award, announced on 17 March 2019 – Franco’s birthday. The quartet receives £25,000 and a specially commissioned glass sculpture, entitled Suono, made by Venice-based artist Ritsue Mishima and given by Franco’s niece and nephew, Benedetta and Giovanni Buitoni, in special memory of their uncle.
Benedetta and Giovanni Buitoni, Ilaria Borletti Buitoni and the Quartetto di Cremona. Photo: Valeria Raffaele
I decided to create this award in memory of Franco who loved music so much and who founded BBT with me in 2002. Lieder and chamber music were his special passion and something he also promoted in his role as chairman of Amici della Musica in his home town of Perugia. So I wanted to focus on our country for this second award – with Italian musicians who promote and encourage chamber music in Italy and throughout the world. I very much admire Quartetto di Cremona and all they do. They have developed a wonderful reputation worldwide since 2005 when we awarded them a BBT Fellowship.
Suono by Ritsue Mishima for the Franco Buitoni Award 2019. Photo Valeria Raffaele
Quartetto di Cremona. Photo: Valeria Raffaele
Simone Gramagliaviola, Quartetto di Cremona:
We are so honoured to receive this recognition thanks to Ilaria’s enlightened sensitivity and vision. We know how much Franco did for music and how he loved it. It will be a special pleasure for us to honour Franco’s passion for chamber music as we continue to promote and encourage it in Italy and throughout the world.
Banner: Franco and Ilaria at BBT 10, May 2013. Photo Simon Weir.