Mats Gustafsson has been awarded the Nordic Council Music Prize for 2011. The prize awards an individual musician “whose efforts are co-creative and important for the form, sound and context of the musical expression”, and who has attracted attention for improvisational work in 2010.
The prize has been going since 1965, and the adjudication committee has one member from each of the five Nordic countries (see a full list of committee members here). It is awarded alternately to a living composer or practising artist, and is worth €47,000. In 2010 and 2011 Gustafsson released records and played with The Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet, Fire!, Jim O’Rourke, The Thing, The Ex, Barry Guy, and more.
The Council’s adjudicating committee said: “For over two decades Mats Gustafsson has been one of the big names in improvised music… Mats does not just renew the saxophone expression, he reinvents it and creates new worlds of music between the tones and behind the noise... We recommend that you open your hearts and let yourself be enchanted by Mats Gustafsson's musical universe."