Ann Linde presents Government's Music Export Prize
The Government’s 2016 Music Export Prize for extraordinary services to Swedish music exports is awarded to artist and songwriter Zara Larsson. The Government’s 2016 Special Prize for long-standing contributions to Swedish music exports is awarded to opera singer Nina Stemme. The Government continues in 2017 to grant the organization Export Music Sweden business support to increase their initiatives to launch Swedish songwriters, artists and music industry businesses in strategically important markets.
"Sweden continues to export world-class music. It is particularly exciting that the prizes in the two categories this year go to two women who have not only put Sweden on the map with their voices and artistry, but also helped spread a positive image of Sweden as a gender-equal, creative and innovative country," says Minister for EU Affairs and Trade Ann Linde.
On 21 February, Ms Linde presented the Government's Music Export Prize – the 20th consecutive year it has been awarded. The prize goes to Swedish music creators who have contributed to export success and to spreading a modern and positive image of Sweden abroad.
Zara Larsson was awarded the 20th Music Export Prize, with the following motivation:
With her irresistible pop music, colourful artistry and strong personality, she has captivated the entire world. Her songs have charted in a number of countries around the world and have been streamed an incredible one billion times. Over the past year she has begun experimenting and developing her own songwriting, has featured in international media, appeared on major talk shows, inaugurated Euro 2016 and played sold-out concerts in Europe and the United States. She has made a big impression, and TIME magazine has named her one of the world's most influential individuals under 30. Her strong voice as a singer, but also as a spokesperson for women's rights, makes her a great role model for modern Sweden. The Government's Music Export Prize for 2016 is awarded to songwriter and artist Zara Larsson.
The other nominees were: Galantis, Ghost and Yung Lean & Sad Boys.
The Special Prize is awarded to opera singer Nina Stemme, a figure in the music industry who has made a long-standing contribution to spreading Swedish music abroad, thus helping to promote a positive image of Sweden.
The motivation was as follows:
Her roles over the years span the entire soprano repertoire, from Mozart and Webern, via Mimì in Puccini's La Bohème to the most demanding and technically difficult roles in works such as Richard Wagner's The Ring cycle and Tristan and Isolde, or as the unremittingly vengeful Elektra in the opera of the same name by Richard Strauss.She performs at the Metropolitan in New York, La Scala in Milan, the Wiener Staatsoper in Vienna, the Opera Bastille in Paris and the Royal Opera House in London, and also makes regular guest appearances at opera houses in Zurich, Munich, Barcelona and elsewhere, as well as both the Stockholm and Gothenburg operas in Sweden.
It is the interplay between her warm, rich tones and unerring instinct for finely honed characters that make her a singer out of the ordinary, beloved of both audiences and critics. Sweden has a long history of producing world-class singers, and she is one of the very best. Celebrated and adored, she has the opera world at her feet.
The award ceremony was followed by a panel discussion on Swedish talent in the global music market featuring the prize winners, representatives of the music industry and politicians.
In her introductory address, Ann Linde announced that the Government intends to grant Export Music Sweden additional business support in 2017 to increase their initiatives to launch Swedish songwriters, artists and music industry businesses in strategically important markets.