Esa-Pekka Salonen, a renowned Finnish conductor and composer, has been announced as the winner of the prestigious 2024 Polar Music Prize. Established in 1989 by former ABBA manager Stig Anderson, the award includes a cash prize of one million Swedish kroner, equivalent to approximately ,000, and is given annually to honor outstanding contributions to the field of music.

Salonen will be presented with the prize at a ceremony in Stockholm, attended by the Swedish Royal Family, scheduled for Tuesday, May 21 at the Grand Hôtel in the city. The event will be broadcast live on Sweden’s TV4 channel at 8pm CET.

Currently serving as the Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony, Salonen holds the position of conductor laureate with prestigious orchestras such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Philharmonia Orchestra, and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, he is a faculty member at the Colburn School, overseeing the Negaunee Conducting Program.

As a co-founder of the annual Baltic Sea Festival, Salonen has made significant contributions to the classical music landscape. Reflecting on his recognition, Salonen expressed his gratitude for the support he has received from the Swedish cultural institutions throughout his career.

Marie Ledin, managing director of the Polar Music Prize, praised Salonen as an innovator in the field of music, highlighting his artistic curiosity, creativity, and ability to deeply move listeners through his compositions and conducting. Salonen’s forward-thinking approach to music has solidified his reputation as a master of tone and emotion in the classical music world.

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