Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós and violinist Elfa Rút Kristinsdóttir are among the 13 artists, groups, and ensembles nominated for the 2023 Nordic Council Music Prize.
Representing a broad selection across the Nordic region, entrants this year include jazz musicians, contemporary classical, folk, and more. The prize will be awarded on October 31 in Oslo.
According to the panel, “Icelandic violinist Elfa Rún Kristinsdóttir has become known for her expressive and musical virtuosity, where she succinctly combines masterful craft and technique with a natural, vital and beautiful tone. ” Elfa studied music in Freiburg and Leipzig and first came to prominence in 2006 at the International Bach Competition in Leipzig. Since then, she has performed as both a solo artist and a member of several ensembles. Her repertoire includes everything from the Baroque to contemporary classical compositions.
Sigur Rós, one of Iceland’s best-known bands, was formed in 1994 and has since redefined modern rock music by incorporating elements of classical and ambient music into their post-rock sound. According to the panel, “Sigur Rós’s continued relevance stems from a stubborn refusal to rest on its laurels as seen in its interdisciplinary work with artists, choreographers, filmmakers, and Icelandic rímur singers, to name but a few. Sigur Rós is especially renowned for its live shows, described by fans and reviewers as a transcending, almost religious-like experience.”
Every year, the Nordic Council awards five prizes in the fields of literature, film music, environmental activism, and children and youth culture.
The prize is intended to support cultural cooperation in the Nordic region by recognising pioneering artists. In addition to the nations Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland, the territories of Åland, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands are also recognised.
The Icelandic nominees for 2022 included Bára Gísladóttir and Sóley Stefánsdóttir. The 2022 award went to Swedish composer Karin Rehnqvist. The prize is awarded on alternate years to an ensemble or artist in one year and to a work by a living composer the next year.
Winners of the Nordic Council Prize receive the “Nordlys” statuette and DKK 300,000 [$43,000; €40,000].