Every year on December 11, the Nobel Peace Prize committee hosts a concert to celebrate the winner. This year the winner was Martti Ahtisaari, the former president of Finland, and apparently a skilled peace negotiator (he’s brokered peace agreements on three continents).
I was lucky enough to get a ticket to the concert. It may not have been the best seat possible, but it seems to have been one of the best seats you could get by buying the ticket online. I found much of the concert to be quite good, although there were a few acts I was not a big fan of.
From Swedish pop artist Robyn, to Jason Mraz, to Finnish violinist Elina Vähälä (playing a Stradivarius, no less), it was a concert with almost every type of music. I felt Mraz, Vähälä, and Il Devo were the highlights of the evening, but a coworker who also went was a big fan of Robyn’s performance. Sean Kuti’s African rythms and Dierks Bentley’s American country music were not that great, but then again, those aren’t my types of music.
If you have the opportunity to attend the concert in the future, I would definitely recommend it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not always the greatest music (this year Diana Ross was the headliner, and I just wasn’t impressed by her performance at all), but at the same time, how often do you get to go to a concert attended by a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, not to mention Norwegian royalty?
Oh, by the way, people often ask why Alfred Nobel, a Swede, decreed that the Peace Prize should be chosen by a committee appointed by the Norwegian government and presented in Oslo, rather than in Stockholm like the other prizes. It’s not a question anyone can answer with certainty, but it kind of makes sense. When Nobel died, Norway was in a union with Sweden, and the Norwegian parliament was only responsible for internal matters. It’s widely believed that Nobel felt that a committee chosen by the Norwegian government would be much less succeptible to outside pressures as opposed to a committee chosen by Sweden. Oh, and Norwegians like to believe that Nobel thought they were less warlike than the Swedes, however true that may or may not be!