The Belmont Prize honors innovation, daring, and courage, but nothing that prolongs the status quo. Innovations proceed from the arts; art patronage can only help to sustain them a few steps along the way.
Belmont, in Shakespeare‘s “The Merchant of Venice,” is a place of destiny where Portia’s intelligence is at home. “Who chooses me, must give and hazard all he hath”: no slogan better captures the eligibility for an award. Shakespeare views the “hazard” as spread equally between the giver and the receiver.
But Belmont is also a token of admiration for Arnold Schoenberg, who declared war on empty pathos and embarrassing conventions in his protean artistic creations and forms of expression: “The heart must reside within the domain of the brain.”
The Prize, with its € 20.000 endowment, is awarded wherever possible every two years. It is one of Europe’s highest endowed awards for artistic creation.