Photo Credit: Kristen Loken

Polar Music Prize Goes to SF Symphony Director

San Francisco Symphony Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen has been announced as a recipient of the 2024 Polar Music Prize; also named was Grammy Award-winning songwriter, composer, producer, arranger, and guitarist Nile Rodgers. Each Laureate will receive Prize money of one million Swedish Kroner (approximately $94,000).

The 2024 Polar Music Prize will be presented at a ceremony in Stockholm in the presence of the Swedish Royal Family, taking place on Tuesday, May 21 in Stockholm at the Grand Hôtel. It will also be broadcast live in Sweden on TV4 at 8pm CET.

“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 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.”

“Esa-Pekka Salonen is an innovator,” says Marie Ledin, managing director of the Polar Music Prize. “His artistic curiosity, creativity, and forward-thinking approach to composing and conducting paves the way in classical music. He is a master of tone, perfectly balancing sound and emotion to produce and lead music that deeply moves the listener.”

The Polar Music Prize was founded in 1989 by Stig “Stikkan” Anderson. Anderson was the publisher, lyricist, and manager of ABBA, and played a key role in their enormous success. The prize, named after Anderson’s record label Polar Music, celebrates the power and importance of music, and is awarded to individuals, groups, or institutions for international recognition of excellence.