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About ECM
June 13 , 2005


Cikada has been awarded the Nordic Council Music Prize. It is the most prestigious music prize within the Nordic region, awarded annually by the Nordic Council’s Music committee, NOMUS. In recent years, the prize has been awarded to performers such as Björk, Mari Boine, Palle Mikkelborg and Niels-Henning Ørsted-Pedersen and composers such as Bent Sørensen, Rolf Wallin, Kaija Saariaho and Haukur Tómasson.

The music committee jury motivates the award as follows:
“With its sharply focused and long-standing work, Cikada has become a significant ambassador for Nordic contemporary music. The jury emphasizes the ensemble’s distinct sound, dynamic performance style and innovative approach to stylistic diversity. Cikada’s perfectionist quest for quality in all parts of the ensemble has created an organisation fully capable of underlining the utmost importance of contemporary music for our Nordic identity.”

Founded in Oslo in 1989, Cikada consists of nine musicians and conductor Christian Eggen. Under the Cikada banner, three autonomous formations exist: the Cikada Ensemble, the Cikada String Quartet, and the Cikada Duo (piano, percussion). Contemporary music is at the core of the group’s activities, though Cikada maintains an undogmatic attitude to working across genre boundaries – resulting in joint projects with leading jazz musicians such as Arild Andersen and Trygve Seim.

Since the beginning of the nineties, Cikada has collaborated closely with ECM on albums such as the Bent Sørensen portrait Birds and Bells, An Acrobat’s Heart with the American ‘avant-garde torch-song’ vocalist Annette Peacock and Cikada String Quartet, as well as CDs with the Norwegian jazz quartet the Source and the Swedish folk musician Mats Edén .

A new ECM New Series album has just been released, with the Cikada String Quartet performing works by Kaija Saariaho, John Cage and Bruno Maderna.

In August this year, the Cikada String Quartet will record a new CD on the ECM-distributed American label XtraWatt Records with bassist Steve Swallow and pianist Steve Kuhn, and featuring settings of the poetry of Robert Creeley.