Telenor Culture Prize 2015 to Jo Strømgren

Telenor Group’s annual Culture Prize, “Boundless Communication” 2015, will be awarded dancer, choreographer, theatre and film director Jo Strømgren.

Written: Sep 2015

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The prize of 500 000 NOK will be presented during a gala-concert in Oslo Konserthus Monday 21 September.

Telenor’s Culture Prize is given annually to performing artists or organisations that have made an extraordinary contribution within culture in Scandinavia, but who also have established itself internationally.

Through Jo Strømgren Kompani, the winner has produced performances in 53 countries with almost 200 shows each year.

The jury awards the prize to Strømgren for his ability to combine creative activity across art forms on a very high international level.

“Very few artists achieve recognition and distinguish themselves with a genre mix with such a broad scope within the performing arts as Jo Strømgren. His productions are characterized by large portions of absurd and at times rough humour, combined with wounded and beautiful expressions. Strømgren’s original dramaturgical grip conveys experiences that affect and engage across age groups and cultural boundaries,” says Ingrid Kindem, leader of the jury.

Actress and director Liv Ullmann, The Norwegian Radio Orchestra, artist Olafur Eliasson and musician Timbuktu are amongst previous winners of Telenor’s Culture Prize.

“We congratulate Jo Strømgren as this year’s winner of Telenor’s Culture Prize. His ‘boundless communication’ of culture here in Norway and internationally is very impressive and shows that he is one of the country’s biggest cultural exports,” says Telenor CEO Sigve Brekke.

Strømgren has created performances for elite-institutions within ballet, theater and film, both in Norway and internationally. He has gained recognition for how he combines dance and acting in a seamless and innovative way, which is not least reflected in the performances he produces through his company.

“It feels incredibly good to be appreciated for what I have done for the past 20 years , namely race around the world with a naive belief that people are not really so different. And of course we’re not. People laugh or cry for the same reasons, whether it is in Sandnes, Seoul or Santiago. I am thankful for the Culture Prize – it gives inspiration to continue on my journey, a little less naive now than before, says this year’s winner,” Jo Strømgren.

About the Culture Prize

Telenor Group’s Culture Prize, “Boundless Communication” is a central element in Telenor’s comprehensive culture programme, which has as one of its aims to bring together artists from different genres in Scandinavia, other parts of Europe and Asia.

This is the 20th time the prize is awarded.

The jury of 2015

Ingrid Kindem, musician, composer, and leader of the jury, Lars Saabye Christensen, author, Asta Busingye Lydersen, actress and musician, Cecilie Broch Knudsen, Principal of Oslo National Academy of the Arts,  Nicolai Cleve Broch, actor, Martin Eia-Revheim, house manager at Sparebankstiftelsen, and Kai Rosenberg, Telenor Group’s representative.

Previous winners

2014 – Stian Carstensen, musician/composer
2013 – Hisham Zaman, film director
2012 – Timbuktu, artist
2011 – The Norwegian Broadcasting Orchestra (KORK)
2010 – Olafur Eliasson, artist
2009 – Liv Ullmann, actress and film director
2008 – Jonas Bendiksen, photographer
2007 – Marilyn Mazur, percussionist, ensemble leader and composer
2006 – The International Museum of Children’s Art
2005 – Anne Marit Jacobsen, actress
2004 – Ingrid Lorentzen, dancer
2003* – the independent theatre company Verdensteatret
2001 – Ingvar Ambjørnsen, author
2000 – Juni Dahr, actress
1999 – Torun Lian, author and film director
1998 – Kari Bremnes, singer, musician and songwriter
1997 – Kjersti Alveberg, choreographer
1996 – Wenche Øyen, painter
1995 – Svein Tindberg, actor

* Between 2002 and 2003 Telenor changed the practice for dating. Earlier prizes were dated to the year prior to when the award took place. Therefore there are no prizes dating from 2002.