Credits Geert Vandepoele
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11. April 2024

Alexander von Schlippenbach Honoured for Lifetime Achievement

On April 18, the German Jazz Prize will be presented at the E-Werk Cologne, honoring outstanding musicians and achievements in the field of jazz, both nationally and internationally, for the fourth time. A first award winner in the category Lifetime Achievement was announced in advance at the opening of jazzahead!, the world’s largest trade fair for jazz. In the fourth edition, the Berlin based jazz pianist, arranger, and composer Alexander von Schlippenbach is honored for his life‘s work.
Alexander von Schlippenbach, a free jazz pioneer and a legend in the German jazz scene, is a key figure in music that embodies freedom. Schlippenbach’s work skillfully navigates between rigorous individualism and unrestricted collective spirit, between intellectual architecture and unconditional devotion to the process of playing. His contributions range from solo performances to duos with Aki Takase and larger ensembles, always blending individualism with collective spirit. His ability to express inner sonic visions both at the piano and in an orchestral setting demonstrates his remarkable versatility and deep musical understanding.
Schlippenbach has significantly shaped the identity of jazz and improvisation, not only in Germany but also internationally. This is reflected in his decades-long collaboration with jazz institutions such as the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) or the Globe Unity Orchestra, among others. The latter, founded by Schlippenbach in 1966 to perform the work “Globe Unity” commissioned by the Berliner Jazztage, notably influenced his reach and development as a musician.