Kaija Saariaho awarded with the Wihuri Sibelius Prize (09.10.2009)

Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho is the 2009 recipient of the Wihuri Sibelius Prize. The award includes prize money of 100,000 euros, making it one of the world's most highly remunerative awards. The decision by the Finnish Wihuri Foundation for International Prizes was made public on Friday, 9 October 2009.

The purpose of the Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation is to promote and sustain the cultural and economic development of the Finnish society through international prizes and scholarships, which have throughout its history mounted to nine million euros.

The Wihuri Sibelius Prize has known only sixteen more recipients after Jean Sibelius in 1953, including such Finnish composers as Erik Bergman, Usko Meriläinen, and Einojuhani Rautavaara (1965), Joonas Kokkonen (1973), Aulis Sallinen (1983), and Magnus Lindberg (2003), as well as non-Finnish composers Paul Hindemith (1955), Dmitri Shostakovich (1958), Igor Stravinsky (1963), Benjamin Britten (1965), Olivier Messiaen (1971), Witold Lutosławski (1973), Krzysztof Penderecki (1983), György Ligeti (2000), and Per Nørgård (2006).