Document Actions

The Nordic Council Music Prize 2012 goes to Icelandic Anna Thorvaldsdóttir

The Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdóttir wins the Nordic Council Music Prize 2012 for her work Dreaming.


Anna Thorvaldsdóttir is honoured with the Nordic Council Music Prize 2012 for the work Dreaming.

Hrafn Asgeirsson

Anna Thorvaldsdóttir (1977) has an international reputation for new musical compositions and has now been honoured with the Nordic Council's prestigious Music Prize 2012.

Dreaming for orchestra

This is what the Adjudicating Committee had to say:

"Dreaming opens the sphere of the symphony orchestra in an unusual and innovative way. The beginning and end of the work flow freely without any indication of time, creating a cyclic understanding of time reminiscent of Nordic myths and the mysticism of nature. The music strives to bring the experience of chronological time to a stop - like in dreams.

In the old Norse sagas people enter into dialogue with nature through dreams. In dreams we use other languages and other senses. Dreams connect night and day, light and dark, and it is in the vision of dreams that people learn about death. The music is sensual and calm, but it can also surprise and be powerful and brutal.

With Dreaming Anna Thorvaldsdóttir has written herself into the Nordic orchestra tradition which derives its timbres both from electronic music and from the sounds of nature in Nordic folk music. The tones are carefully depicted - almost like small pieces of embroidery. But the work is perhaps particularly unique because it manages to build up and unfold a huge form within a time that seemingly stands still. The work grows on you with every listening, and it makes you curious for more".

Theme for this year's prize

The theme for the Nordic Council Music Prize 2012 is:

"The prize is awarded for a work of a living composer. No 'genre' limitations have been set, but it is an assumption that the work meets high artistic standards, and that the work can be regarded as original within its genre"

Prize awarded in Helsinki

The Nordic Council Music Prize is worth DKK 350,000. The prize will be awarded to Anna Thorvaldsdóttir during the Nordic Council Session in Helsinki at the beginning of November.

Listen and read more on the Nordic Council Music Prize's website,

and on Anna Thorvaldsdóttir's website

Related content

Read about the nominations for the Nordic Council Music Prize 2012 (news story).

Read more about the Music Prize.

The Nordic Council Music Prize focuses on the performance and creation of music of a high artistic standard. The prize is awarded on alternate years to a piece of music by a living composer and to a small or large ensemble.