Saariaho wins Wihuri Sibelius Prize
13th October 2009
Kaija Saariaho has won the prestigious 2009 Wihuri Sibelius Prize, awarded by the Wihuri Foundation for International Prizes. The Foundation was established in 1953 and the capital donated by Mr Antti Wihuri, the founder of the Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation.
On receiving the award Saariaho said: ‘The Wihuri Sibelius Prize is one of the most important Prizes given to composers. To receive it has been a real honour and inspires me in my work.
It is wonderful to know that there are so many ears wanting to listen to and enjoy my music.’
The purpose of the Wihuri Foundation for International Prizes is to promote and sustain the cultural and economic development of society by international prizes, in particular with the Wihuri Sibelius Prize. The Foundation accomplishes its aims by distributing prizes in recognition of creative work that has specially furthered and developed the cultural and economic progress of mankind. It awards the Wihuri Sibelius Prize to prominent composers who have become internationally known and acknowledged. The prize is awarded at least every three years to private individuals or organizations regardless of nationality, religion, race or language.
The prizes range from EUR 30,000 to 100,000 and previous recipients include Sibelius, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Britten and Łutosławski.