Today, Iranian Shirin Ebadi receives the Nobel Prize in Oslo for her work for democracy and human rights. She has especially been engaged in the rights of women and children in Iran.
At the press conference yesterday, Ebadi said that “this prize is not just for me, but goes to all Muslim women in Iran and other countries who will not accept discrimination”. Ebadi hopes the peace prize will signalise reconciliation among the Muslim and the Western world.
Broad musical profile
The Peace Prize Concert, which is sold out, will be hosted by actor-couple Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones. For producer of the concert, Odd Arvid Strømstad, it was important to create a broad presentation for several music styles.
“This concert needs to fulfil various purposes. First, this is a concert for the prize winner, and secondly, for the 6500 people seated in Oslo Spektrum. Then, we also have to consider our audience in front of their TVs in Norway, the United States, Europe, and the rest of the world.
The main purpose is to produce a music show that will be watched in many countries”, says Strømstad. Through the concert, the Nobel trademark is spread to even more countries.
Jan Werner and Norwegian Radio Orchestra are given the honour to open the show. Werner’s voice has given him a loyal group of followers, and his last album, "Singer of songs" has sold more than 75 000 copies only in Norway. Lene Marlin made a long awaited comeback this year, after several years’ public disappearance. Her new album “Another day” is one of the best sellers in Norway. More than 80 000 copies are sold.
Honouring the unknown winner
Most of the artists are asked before the public announcement of this year’s prize winner, and Strømstad says it is a challenge to gather the right mix of artists before they know which prize winner’s name they are honouring. After Shirin Ebadi was announced this year’s Laureate, the Iranian band Kamkars were added to the showcase.
“Our job is to make sure there are no conflicts between artists and the prize winner. We must find artists we can invite early, even though the prize winner is not announced”, says Strømstad, who is happy to present Lene Marlin to a large audience for the first time since her comeback.
It is 102 years since the Nobel prize was awarded for the first time to Swiss Jean Henry Dunant and French Frédéric Passy.