Borletti-Buitoni Trust
Franco Buitoni Award


Franco Buitoni Award

Announced on 19 February 2017, the inaugural Franco Buitoni Award was made as the personal choice of Mitsuko Uchida, trustee of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust (BBT).

The next Franco Buitoni Award will be made in March 2019.

This special tribute is in memory of Franco Buitoni (1934-2016) who co-founded the Borletti-Buitoni Trust in 2002 with his wife, Ilaria. Ilaria Borletti Buitoni and Mitsuko Uchida travelled to Budapest to present the award (£30,000) to both György and Márta Kurtág in recognition of their distinguished contribution to the world of music, as well as their long and devoted musical partnership. The date of the award’s announcement also marked the Kurtág’s 70th wedding anniversary and György’s 91st birthday.


György and Márta Kurtág. Photo Marco Borggreve

Ilaria Borletti Buitoni, Márta Kurtág, Mitsuko Uchida and György Kurtág. Photo © BMC / Bálint Hrotkó


Ilaria Borletti Buitoni said:

My husband, Franco, passed away last August. He and I founded BBT in 2002 to help talented young
musicians develop their careers. From the very beginning we were pleased to have the artistic guidance and ideas of our founding trustee, Mitsuko Uchida, who was also a dear friend to Franco. I wanted to honour my husband’s own lifetime of loving and supporting music with this special award and there seemed no better person to nominate a worthy recipient than Mitsuko.

Mitsuko Uchida‘s citation runs as follows:

Intense, mysterious, dark, otherworldly and innig; these are the words that come to my mind when I
think of György Kurtág’s music. e is inspirational and fiercely honest but there is also a deep love that glows through his music. This may be an expression of his extraordinary relationship with his wife, Márta. Anybody who has heard the Kurtágs play, four hands, would know what that means. We know György Kurtág the great composer but with him always is Márta the wonderful pianist. They live music together. Therefore, the special Franco Buitoni Award goes to György and Márta Kurtág. We are honoured that they have accepted this award on his 91st birthday and their 70th wedding anniversary. We have all been so lucky to have known them and their music, me especially.


Zoltán Fejérvári (right) at the presentation. Photo © BMC / Bálint Hrotkó

Márta and György Kurtág and Mitsuko Uchida. Photo © BMC / Bálint Hrotkó


The presentation took place at the Budapest Music Centre. Hungarian pianist Zoltán Fejérvári (BBT Fellowship winner 2016) was also delighted to attend and has written a blog about the event. Read it here.

Read the Press Release here.

Banner: Franco and Ilaria at BBT 10, May 2013. Photo Simon Weir.