Award Winners – The Hans Christian Andersen Award 2023

Hans Abrahamsen, Denmark
for his opera Snedronningen (The Snow Queen) (2019)

Klodian Briçi, Albania
for his translation of 99 fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen

Lucy Catherine, United Kingdom
for Dance till you bleed: The World According to Hans Christian Andersen, a radio drama for BBC Radio 3

Hans Abrahamsen, Danmark
The opera The Snow Queen by Hans Abrahamsen, which premiered in autumn 2019, marks nothing less than a milestone in three areas: 1) as Abrahamsen’s first opera, 2) for Hans Christian Andersen´s original 1845 fairy tale, which after nearly 175 years found a congenial musical clothing to match the existential questions of our time, and 3) it became one of the most significant artistic contributions of our time not only as an interpretation of Danish cultural heritage, but also on its own terms, proving to audiences in 2019 (and 2023) that Hans Christian Andersen´s theme still has the utmost validity. Given Hans Christian Andersen´s complex and artistic insights, however, it is no small thing – here in the poet’s own homeland.

Thus, in addition to being an unforgettable and in every way musical experience in its own right, all who have seen your opera will gain a richer and more mature understanding of Hans Christian Andersen´s already challenging narrative.

Klodian Briçi, Albania
Klodian Briçi is a prolific and well-known Albanian translator, who has translated more than 40 books from mainly English and Italian, but also e.g., novels by the Swedish writer Selma Lagerlöf. All to the benefit of the Albanian public who is traditionally very interested in literature – both Albanian and foreign. Hans Christian Andersen has been published in Albania before with the largest selection in 1987 including 27 fairy tales. But with Klodian Briçi’s new edition from 2020 and of 900 pages(!) including 99 fairy tales, we now have really the first major and adequate selection of Hans Christian Andersen’s multifaceted writing in the Albanian language.

Klodian Briçis translation does not only enrich the ever-growing corpus of Andersen’s work in foreign languages but adds a major author of world literature to the canon of Albanian literature.

Lucy Catherine, United Kingdom
It would go too far to detail Lucy Catherine’s extensive output of films – both fiction and feature – but we’re hardly missing the point by noting a few red threads to the scarier and to the Nordic? Perhaps that’s why her 2019 dramatization of five fairy tales in one unified production under the collective title “Dance till you bleed: The World According to Hans Christian Andersen” is quite strong stuff. Not only because Lucy Catherine has chosen some of Andersen’s more gothic tales, including The Red Shoes and Anne Lisbeth, and coupled them with a couple of very dramatic, but at the same time typically Andersen: The Most Incredible and The Wicked Prince about the meaning of art and human self-assertion respectively. Finally, space has been made for a short but happy version of one of Andersen’s most personal and original tales, The Ice Maiden. None of these tales are among the best known in Denmark, but Lucy Catherine has organised the stories so that they make a very big impression and prove their worth in this particular radio format too.

With Dance till you bleed, Hans Christian Andersen artistically gained new ground.

The Award Ceremony takes place on Sunday, April 2nd at 16.30 at the Theatre of Odense.
The Award will be motivated and presented by the Mayor of Odense, Peter Rahbæk Juel, among others.

The presentation of the awards will be accompanied by ballet dancing, singing, music, stand-up, and reading.

Further information, please contact Susanne Wiese Kristensen, cell +45 22 48 68 59.