Sonning Prize

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This article is about the culture prize "The Sonning Prize". For the music prize see Léonie Sonning Music Prize

The Sonning Prize (Danish: Sonningprisen) is awarded biennially for outstanding contributions to European culture. A committee headed by the rector of the University of Copenhagen decides among candidates proposed by European universities. The prize amounts to 1 mio DKK (~135,000 ). The prize award ceremony is held on April 19 (Sonning's birthday) at the University of Copenhagen. The prize was established by will of the Danish editor and author Carl Johan Sonning (1879–1937). It was first awarded in 1950 and subsequently every second year from 1959.

Sonning Prize laureates

Year Recipient Field Nationality
2014 Michael Haneke film  Austria
2012 Orhan Pamuk author  Turkey
2010 Hans Magnus Enzensberger author  Germany
2008 Renzo Piano architecture  Italy
2006 Ágnes Heller philosophy  Hungary
2004 Mona Hatoum creative arts  United Kingdom
2002 Mary Robinson UN High Commissioner for Human Rights  Ireland
2000 Eugenio Barba theatre  Italy
1998 Jørn Utzon architecture  Denmark
1996 Günter Grass author  Germany
1994 Krzysztof Kieślowski film  Poland
1991 Václav Havel author and statesman  Czech Republic
1989 Ingmar Bergman theatre and film  Sweden
1987 Jürgen Habermas philosophy  Germany
1985 William Heinesen author  Faroe Islands
1983 Simone de Beauvoir author  France
1981 Dario Fo theatre  Italy
1979 Hermann Gmeiner founder of the SOS Children's Villages  Austria
1977 Arne Næss philosophy  Norway
1975 Hannah Arendt politology  Germany
1973 Sir Karl Popper philosophy  Austria
1971 Danilo Dolci social worker  Italy
1970 Max Tau author  Germany
1969 Halldór Laxness author  Iceland
1968 Arthur Koestler author  United Kingdom
1967 Willem A. Visser't Hooft theology  Netherlands
1966 Laurence Olivier actor  United Kingdom
1965 Richard Nikolaus Graf Coudenhove-Kalergi author and statesman  Austria
1964 Dominique Pire theology  Belgium
1963 Karl Barth theology   Switzerland
1962 Alvar Aalto architecture  Finland
1961 Niels Bohr physics  Denmark
1960 Bertrand Russell philosophy  United Kingdom
1959 Albert Schweitzer philosophy  Germany
1950 Sir Winston Churchill author and statesman  United Kingdom

See also


Sonning Prize at the University of Copenhagen