Professor Lucy Durán awarded the Imaterial festival prize for her dedication to local heritage music

Lucy Durán, Professor of Music received the Imaterial festival prize during a special ceremony at the festival on Sunday 9 October.  

This year, Profesor Durán curated the film section of the festival programme of the annual Imaterial festival celebrating local heritage music in the World heritage town of Evora, in Alentejo, Portugal. 

The Imaterial Prize was created with the aim of giving public gratitude to individuals who provide a valuable service to the dialogue between different cultures and to the uncompromising defence of human rights and equality between peoples.   

In reaction to receiving the prize, Professor Lucy Durán said:  

“Imaterial is a special festival that focuses on lesser-known traditions of acoustic music from around the world, with the aim of raising awareness of endangered traditions from endangered landscapes, both rural and urban. It was a great honour to be invited to curate the film programme for the festival, and I have selected six remarkable films made between 1962-2022 for screening, where possible with the directors present. It is even more of an honour to be awarded the festival prize. This is the first time I have received such an award and I am overjoyed and humbled.”  

Stating their reasons for awarding Professor Duran, Imaterial said:  

“Having directed her energies mainly towards Cuban and Malian music – especially the music of Malian women and the kora – Lucy Durán has produced more than 20 albums, by musicians such as Bassekou Kouyaté, Kasse Mady Diabaté or Trio Da Kali with Kronos Quartet. One of her most important recordings is the immediate classic New Ancient Strings, the duo of Toumani Diabaté and Ballaké Sissoko. Her tireless mission to promote these songs led Durán to create the first courses in West African and Cuban music at SOAS University in London, to present programs on BBC Radio 3, and to also dedicate herself to making documentaries. Imaterial is now pleased to honor this inspiring and precious journey.” 

Find out more about the Imaterial festival.