In accordance with Article 2 of the constitution of the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation concerning the annual award of one or more prizes to honour individuals or organizations whose contributions in the cultural, social or social science fields have been of outstanding importance to Europe, His Royal Highness Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands confirmed the decision of the Board of the Foundation to award the Praemium Erasmianum for the year 1998 to Mauricio Kagel
The Erasmus Prize is awarded to Mauricio Kagel
- for demonstrating that we should no longer be bound by conventional, traditional forms of appreciation and habits of listening, so that we may keep alive our rich musical heritage and ensure that it does not become fossilized;
- for bringing about a new way of listening on the part of the public, through his bizarre, always highly imaginative and original compositions;
- for succeeding in transforming the traditional concert into a spectacular event, by combining his musical message with film, dance, theatre, language and audio-visual elements;
- moreover, for not only crossing the traditional boundaries of the arts with his well thought-out compositions but also for linking present and past and manifesting a wide cultural horizon extending beyond Europe;
- finally, for making people think about music and its human and social significance, through his sense of perspective, his undogmatic, parodying attitude and his role as a firebrand.