Polar Music Prize for Salonen

Polar Music Prize for Salonen

On May 21 in Stockholm conductor and composer Esa-Pekka Salonen will be awarded the 2024 Polar Music Prize, awarded annually to one contemporary musician and and one classical musician. Nile Rodgers, award-winning songwriter, producer, and co-founder of CHIC also receives the award. 

The award announcement reads:

The 2024 Polar Music Prize is awarded to Esa-Pekka Salonen from Finland. His breakthrough came in 1983 when he conducted Mahler’s Symphony No. 3. As a composer, Esa-Pekka shares many similarities with Gustav Mahler. They have been equally prominent both as conductors and composers, and characterised by the same artistic curiosity. On stage and in the studio, Esa-Pekka Salonen embraces technological innovations, not simply for the sake of experimentation, but as a way to help people discover great music in the constantly changing world of media. Esa-Pekka Salonen is a master of tone in soul and heart. With his resolute baton, he not only guides symphony orchestras but points the way for all classical music.


"I’m honored and excited to be one of the recipients of this year’s Polar Music Prize," says Salonen. "Sweden has long been a musical home to me. Many of my fondest experiences—my years with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Baltic Sea Festival, and the Stockholm International Composer Festival—have taken place here. But it’s the people and culture of Sweden who deserve so much of my gratitude. Without the pervasive support of some of the leading cultural institutions of this country, especially the Swedish National Radio, my musical biography would be missing several key details. I’m very much looking forward to joining Nile Rodgers in Stockholm this spring to receive this illustrious prize.”

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