Cellist Inez Karlsson won the Polstjärnepriset in 2023

– I’m overwhelmed. This is an amazing experience!

So says cellist Inez Karlsson, who is the first ever winner of the Nordic edition of the Polstjärnepriset – a highly ranked competition with participating young classical musicians from all five Nordic countries.

There are many strong experiences that 15-year-old Inez has with her from the competition in the Gothenburg Concert Hall on Thursday, January 5.

– The most exciting and extremely fun was being able to play together with a symphony orchestra in such a large and beautiful concert hall. It has been one of my dreams to do it. The sound on stage was absolutely fantastic.

– Having been able to participate through the various stages of the competition, and to meet many young musicians from other countries, has also been very exciting.

In addition, she won the competition, which was decided for the first time with participants from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

– I almost couldn’t believe it happened. I am very grateful that I have been given this wonderful opportunity.

Inez Karlsson. Photo: Olle Gustafsson

The jury’s reasoning reads:

“An elegant musician with an extreme focus and a wonderful sound, with a strong and obvious presence – reaching out to the audience. A young musician that can go wherever she wants with her talent.”

Inez Karlsson is a Swedish citizen, but she was born in England and lives in Surrey, south of London. Her father is Swedish and the family has many contacts with Sweden. Inez’s cello teacher also has plenty of Swedish contacts and it was he who encouraged his student to stand up and compete in the Polstjärnepriset.

There is another talented musician in the family. Inez’s older sister plays the violin and has participated in international music competitions.

– She is actually much more talented than I am.

Closest to Inez’s plans when she gets home to Surrey, is to participate in some local competitions and music festivals.

– Then I will come back to Sweden and, among other things, play concerts. I am very much looking forward to that.

As the winner, Inez Karlsson receives SEK 50,000.

Second prize winner Pekko Aakko from Finland, who plays the bassoon, wins SEK 10,000.

SEK 5,000 each goes to the third prize winner, the Danish pianist Valdemar Wenzel Most, and to the fourth prize winner, Norwegian Clara Yuna Friedensburg, who plays the cello.

All the four finalists traditionally performed their competition entries together with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra in front of an audience in the Gothenburg Concert Hall.

For any additional questions regarding this press information, please contact: Ulrich Kaatz, Polstjärnepriset competition leader, ulrich.kaatz@vanersborg.se, + 46 70-2731713

Press information