The orchestra announced the award on its website last week.
Launched this year and named in honor of the former artistic director of the Berlin Philharmonic, the Abbado Composition Prize is to be given every two years for a work written for members of the Philharmonic's Orchestra Academy, a post-graduate training ensemble attached to and mentored by the professionals of the Berliner Philharmoniker and founded by Herbert von Karajan in 1972. (The Academy functions along the same lines as the Miami-based New World Symphony.)
Widmann — who studied clarinet in Munich and at the Juilliard School and whose composition teachers have included Hans Werner Henze, Wolfgang Rihm and Heiner Goebbels — won the award for his Quintet for Oboe, Clarinet, Horn, Bassoon and Piano. Members of the Berlin Philharmonic's Orchestra Academy will premiere the work this Friday, November 10, in the Kammermusiksaal of Berlin's Philharmonie.