Edition Wilhelm Hansen congratulates composers Thomas Agerfeldt Olesen (DK) and Outi Tarkiainen (FIN) on the nomination for the prestigious Nordic Council Music Prize 2018. The prize is given biennially to a living composer, biennially to an ensemble or a group “for musicianship of the highest standard”, and the winner, which will be announced at the Nordic Council Prize ceremony on 30 October 2018, will receive a prize of DKK 350,000 (approx. €47,000).
The nominated work by Agerfeldt Olesen is his Weihnachtsoratorium based on one of the great musical Christmas classics – the Christmas Oratorio by Johann Sebastian Bach. “It originates in my own experience of Bach’s oratorio being completely essential, as a work that addresses a need in this time. My work is a kind of ’dogma-oratorio’. The dogma is to follow the same text as Bach… If the question is Bach’s Christmas Oratorio from 1724, then what would my answer be in 2017?”, says Agerfeldt Olesen.
Tarkiainen has been called the “fastest-rising contemporary composer” by the Finnish Broadcasting Company, and her saxophone concerto Saivo nominated for the prize described as “a mature and inspiring work” by Helsingin Sanomat. The composer explains: “The word ‘saivo’ originates from the ancient Sami beliefs meaning a two-bottomed lake, where under a lake dwells another lake and another world… The saxophone concerto… grows eventually into an illusion of another reality which is similar, yet in a peculiar way different than the world we know”.
Edition Wilhelm Hansen hopes to welcome Agerfeldt Olesen or Tarkiainen to the long line of composers from Wilhelm Hansen already awarded with the prize, including Hans Abrahamsen (let me tell you) in 2016, Peter Bruun (Miki Alone) in 2008 and Sunleif Rasmussen (Symphony no. 1) in 2002.