Two editions of Anders Jahre’s Prize for the Arts - 3 million NOK for outstanding cultural achievements

Two editions of Anders Jahre’s Prize for the Arts - 3 million NOK for outstanding  cultural achievements

Two editions of Anders Jahre’s Prize for the Arts -3 million NOK for outstanding cultural achievements

Because of the ongoing pandemic, Anders Jahre’s Prize for the Arts was not awarded in 2020. Instead, two editions of the prize are presented this year. The result is a record amount being handed out to some of Norway’s most outstanding artists.


In a normal year the total amount of the honorary reward is 1,5 million NOK. When the prizes are finally awarded at the annual festive ceremony in Oslo, September 9th, at the Aula of the university of Oslo, the amount is doubled – a record for Anders Jahre’s Prize for the arts.  


The members of the Prize Committee are Åse Kleveland (chair), Bentein Baardson, Svein Olav Hoff, Svein Aaser and Helene Uri.

Photo captions, top from left: The Norwegian Soloists’ Choir Ingvild Skaatan and Mari Askvik, Elena Engelsen and Lise Davidsen. Bottom from left: Grete Pedersen, Håkon Gullvåg and Åse Kleveland.



The prizes for 2020 are awarded vocal artists at the forefront of the art, domestic and abroad. The artistic achievements of the prize winners inspire song performers everywhere.

Winners: Soprano Lise Davidsen, choir conductor Grete Pedersen and The Norwegian Soloists’ Choir.



Lise Davidsen (b. 1987) receives the award for outstanding efforts in the art of opera

Davidsen is born in Stokke, Vestfold County, and attended music studies at Sandefjord High School. She is educated at the Grieg Academy in Bergen and the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen. She is also a former member of the Norwegian Soloists’ Choir.

Davidsen performs at internationally renowned opera houses. She has been very well received and won several prizes, among others The Queen Sonja International Music Competition in 2015 and the Sibelius Award in 2020. In 2019 Lise Davidsen debuted at The Metropolitan, where she has been assigned a further five roles since. Her debut in Covent Garden in spring 2020 got the best of critics. Recently she was appointed Female singer of the Year by the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich.

Lise Davidsen will receive 750 000 NOK.


Grete Pedersen (b. 1960) receives the award for outstanding efforts as artistic leader and conductor

Grete Pedersen has led and developed the Norwegian Soloists’ Choir for 30 years. Both the choir and Grete Pedersen has received numerous music awards throughout the years. Pedersen has been an innovative and purposeful leader and has lifted The Norwegian Soloists’ Choir to an international level, with imaginative choir music and performances of large-scale, classical choir works.

She is educated in church music and choir direction at The Norwegian Academy of Music. Pedersen founded and led The Norwegian Chamber Choir from 1984 to 2014. She is a guest conductor of many European radio choirs and orchestras.

Grete Pedersen shares the award with The Norwegian Soloists’ Choir, each getting 375 000 NOK.


The Norwegian Soloists’ Choir receives the award for outstanding efforts in choir arts

The Norwegian Soloists’ Choir consists of 26 professional singers of both genders. They have won numerous awards and is one of Europe’s leading chamber choirs. The choir celebrated their 70-year anniversary in 2020. On their repertoire is contemporary music, recent pieces especially written for the choir as well as older music.



Winners: Sculptor Elena Engelsen and painter Håkon Gullvåg


Elena Engelsen (b. 1952) receives the award for outstanding achievements in sculptural art

Engelsen is educated at the Norwegian State Art School in Oslo. In her youth she was a part of an international community for sculptural art in Amsterdam. She works both in clay (bronze) and different types of stone. Her works are figurative expressions, and her main motif is somewhat stylized, often alien animals. Engelsen is also an unusually skilled craftsman with an exquisite treatment of materials in her stone works. She has contributed numerous public decorations which can be seen all over Norway, and her works are bought by private collectors as well as public galleries.

Elena Engelsen receives 750 000 NOK.


Håkon Gullvåg (b. 1959) receives the award for outstanding achievements in painting

Gullvåg is educated at the Trondheim Academy of Fine Art and can be characterized both as a local and an internationalist. His works are found within an expressive and figurative visual language, and his catalogue is rich both in size and variety. He paints childhood memories, critiques of society, animals, still lifes, portraits and motifs from the biblical cycle. A common denominator for Gullvåg’s art is that his works tell stories. He has studios in Trondheim, Oslo and other countries, such as China and Italy. His works have been exhibited in numerous international contexts, and they are bought by public galleries both in Norway and abroad.

Håkon Gullvåg receives 750 000 NOK.


Former winners of Anders Jahre’s Prize for the Arts

1990      Asbjørn Aarnes and Nils Aas

1991      Mariss Jansons 

1992      Benny Motzfeldt and Halldis Moren Vesaas

1993      Robert Levin and Stein Mehren

1994      Jakob Weidemann 

1995      Ingrid Bjoner and Jan Garbarek

1996      Liv Ullmann 

Junior Award for Gjertrud Jynge

1997      Arne Nordheim and Gordon Hølmebakk

Junior Award for Gisle Kverndokk and Cathrine Grøndahl

1998      Bergliot Hobæk Haff and Bentein Baardson

Junior Award for Nikolaj Frobenius and Herborg Kråkevik

1999      Leif Ove Andsnes, Solveig Kringlebotn and Truls Mørk

2000      Liv Dommersnes and Frans Widerberg

Junior Award for Andrea Bræin Hovig and Per Enoksson

2001      Knut Skram and Knut Ødegaard

Junior Award for Kari Postma Sundan og Steinar Opstad

2002      Tone Vigeland and Jan Groth

Junior Award for Synnøve Øyen and Tomas Ramberg

2003      Sverre Fehn and Kjetil Trædal Thorsen

2004      Ingvar Ambjørnsen and Geir Kjetsaa

Junior Award for Bjarte Breiteig and Alexander Rybak

2005      Håkon Bleken and Jens Johannessen

Junior Award for Sverre Koren Bjertnæs and Christoffer Fjeldstad

2006      Jon Fosse, Svein Sturla Hungnes and Toralv Maurstad

2007      Karin Krog and Arve Tellefsen

Junior Award for The Trondheim Soloists

2008      Ulla-Mari Brantenberg and Peter Opsvik

Junior Award for Tuva Gonsholt and Daniel Rybakken

2009      Mari Boine and Espen Giljane

2010      Soon-Mi Chung and Stephan Barratt-Due and Tom Sandberg

Junior Award for Barratt Due’s Junior orchestra and Unn Fahlstrøm

2011      Kristian Blystad and Bård Breivik

Junior Award for Kristine Roald Sandøy and Signe Løvland Solberg

2012      Jan Erik Vold and Kari and Kjell Risvik

Junior Award for Kaja Schjerven and Christina Gómez Baggethun

2013      Lise Fjeldstad and Stefan Herheim

Junior Award for Birgitte Larsen and Sigrid Strøm Reibo

2014      Kari Nissen Brodtkorb and Kristin Jarmund

Junior Award for Grete Sofie Borud Nybakken and Johanne Borthne/Vilhelm Christensen

2015      Torill Kove and Leonard Rickhard

Junior Award for Izer Aliu and Johanne Hestvold

2016      Guri Hjeltnes, Jon Michelet, Helge Jordal and Museumsskipet Stiftelsen Hestmanden

2017      Knut Buen, Kirsten Bråten Berg, Hallvard T. Bjørgum, Annbjørg Lien and Hallgrim Hansegård

2018      Ole Paus, Anne Grete Preus and Kari Bremnes

2019      Tor Åge Bringsværd, Herbjørg Wassmo and Lars Saabye Christensen