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The Sonning Prize (Danish: Sonningprisen) is a Danish culture prize awarded biennially for outstanding contributions to European culture. It is named after the Danish editor and author Carl Johan Sonning (1879–1937), who established the prize by his will. The prize was first awarded in 1950, although its second winner was in 1959 after an eight-year hiatus. It was then awarded every year from 1959 to 1971, and then every second year from 1971 to 1991, and again from 1994 to present. Prize winners are chosen by a committee chaired by the rector of the University of Copenhagen
University of Copenhagen
which decides on laureates from a selection of candidates proposed by European universities. The prize amounts to DKK 1 million (~€135,000) and the award ceremony is always held on or around 19 April (Sonning's birthday) in Copenhagen. Sonning Prize laureates[edit]

Year Recipient Lifespan Occupation Country

1950 Churchill, WinstonWinston Churchill 1874–1965 Author and statesman  United Kingdom

1959 Schweitzer, AlbertAlbert Schweitzer 1875–1965 Philosopher and physician  France

1960 Russell, BertrandBertrand Russell 1872–1970 Philosopher  United Kingdom

1961 Bohr, NielsNiels Bohr 1885–1962 Physicist  Denmark

1962 Aalto, AlvarAlvar Aalto 1898–1976 Architect  Finland

1963 Barth, KarlKarl Barth 1886–1968 Theologian   Switzerland

1964 Pire, DominiqueDominique Pire 1910–1969 Theologian and humanitarian  Belgium

1965 Coudenhove-Kalergi, Richard vonRichard von Coudenhove-Kalergi 1894–1972 Author and statesman  Austria

1966 Olivier, LaurenceLaurence Olivier 1907–1989 Actor  United Kingdom

1967 Visser 't Hooft, WillemWillem Visser 't Hooft 1900–1985 Theologian  Netherlands

1968 Koestler, ArthurArthur Koestler 1905–1983 Author  United Kingdom

1969 Laxness, HalldórHalldór Laxness 1902–1998 Author  Iceland

1970 Tau, MaxMax Tau 1897–1976 Author  West Germany

1971 Dolci, DaniloDanilo Dolci 1924–1997 Author and social activist  Italy

1973 Popper, KarlKarl Popper 1902–1994 Philosopher  Austria

1975 Arendt, HannahHannah Arendt 1906–1975 Author and politologist  West Germany

1977 Næss, ArneArne Næss 1912–2009 Philosopher  Norway

1979 Gmeiner, HermannHermann Gmeiner 1919–1986 Philanthropist  Austria

1981 Fo, DarioDario Fo 1926–2016 Playwright  Italy

1983 de Beauvoir, SimoneSimone de Beauvoir 1908–1986 Author  France

1985 Heinesen, WilliamWilliam Heinesen 1900–1991 Author  Faroe Islands

1987 Habermas, JürgenJürgen Habermas b. 1929 Sociologist and philosopher  West Germany

1989 Bergman, IngmarIngmar Bergman 1918–2007 Film and theatre director  Sweden

1991 Havel, VáclavVáclav Havel 1936–2011 Author and statesman  Czechoslovakia

1994 Kieślowski, KrzysztofKrzysztof Kieślowski 1941–1996 Film director  Poland

1996 Grass, GünterGünter Grass 1927–2015 Author  Germany

1998 Utzon, JørnJørn Utzon 1918–2008 Architect  Denmark

2000 Barba, EugenioEugenio Barba b. 1936 Author and theatre director  Italy

2002 Robinson, MaryMary Robinson b. 1944 Politician  Ireland

2004 Hatoum, MonaMona Hatoum b. 1952 Video and installation artist  United Kingdom

2006 Heller, ÁgnesÁgnes Heller b. 1929 Philosopher  Hungary

2008 Piano, RenzoRenzo Piano b. 1937 Architecture  Italy

2010 Enzensberger, Hans MagnusHans Magnus Enzensberger b. 1929 Author  Germany

2012 Pamuk, OrhanOrhan Pamuk b. 1952 Author  Turkey

2014 Haneke, MichaelMichael Haneke b. 1942 Film director  Austria

2018 von Trier, LarsLars von Trier b. 1956 Film director  Denmark

See also[edit]

Léonie Sonning Music Prize

References[edit] Sonning Prize at the University of Copenhagen

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