Stian Carstensen wins Telenor Culture Prize 2014

Press release
5 minute read
(Fornebu 23 September 2014) Norwegian artist Stian Carstensen was awarded the Telenor Culture Prize 2014 for his outstanding multi-instrumentalism and contemporary folk music compositions. The price of NOK 500,000 was presented by Telenor Group President and CEO, Jon Fredrik Baksaas, on the eve of the Telenor Culture Programme’s 20th anniversary.
The Telenor Culture Prize, called “Boundless Communications”, is a key component of Telenor’s extensive cultural program, which aims to bring together artists from different genres in Scandinavia, the rest of Europe and Asia. While it creates a cross-cultural arena, it is also of a distinctive local and regional nature.

Stian Carstensen, 43, is a composer and traveller in music, whose sound and musical expression are both national and universal, a performer always ready to play the variety of instruments that travel with him. Carstensen is a genuine virtuoso and for him there are no boundaries between the humoristic and the deeply serious.

“We congratulate Stian Carstensen, this year’s Telenor Culture Prize winner. The prize is well deserved and his musical elegance in combination with a generous way of presenting music has made him a highly respected and a popular performer,” says Jon Fredrik Baksaas, President and CEO of Telenor Group.

“The music he creates moves across borders and continents, recognised by a musical abundance, sophisticated melodic lines, and complex rhythmical arrangements. He moves accurately and with determination between genres, between instruments, between hit tunes, art music, children’s music, classical tradition, and folk music ‘in metres facing extinction’,” says the head of the jury, Ingrid Kindem.

In interaction with others, Carstensen is attentive and communicative, the jury said.  He makes others perform at their best, whether they are folk- or jazz musicians, audience, or a complete symphonic orchestra. Carstensen plunges bravely and unafraid into the depths of unknown musical pastures.

“It's a great honour to be chosen for this year’s Telenor cultural award among so many artists of high quality. This means a lot to me and my work,” says Stian Carstensen.

Since 1995

The Telenor Culture Prize – Boundless Communication – is awarded for the 19th time.

Previous award winners:

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.

The jury of 2014: Ingrid Kindem, musician and composer, 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, Kai Rosenberg, Senior Communications Manager at Telenor Group.


Picture of the prize winner

Learn more about the art and culture initiatives of Telenor

Ingrid Kindem, Head of Jury
Mobile: +47 995 31 630

Stian Carstensen, Prize Winner
Mobile: +47 913 89 909

Glenn Mandelid
Head of Media Relations
Telenor Group
Mobile: +47 926 61 300