Sweden is the third largest exporter of music in the world after the United States and Great Britain.
When ABBA won the Europvision Song Contest in 1974 with "Waterloo," it marked the beginning of an international Swedish pop and rock era. Since then the world has met Roxette, Europe, The Cardigans, The Hives, The Sounds, The Concretes, Yngwie Malmsteen, Ace of Base, Eagle-Eye Cherry, Robyn, Meja, Mando Diao and many more.
Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson of ABBA are still collaborating, creating success musicals such as Chess and Mama Mia (soon to open in L.A.!). The production of Swedish music videos has also reached prominence, e.g. through Jonas Åkerlund's videos for Madonna and Metallica, etc..
Swedish music is also about folk music, classical music, jazz and avant-garde. The Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Gothenburg Symphonic Orchestra are all internationally acclaimed. Esa-Pekka Salonen was brought from Stockholm to the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.
The Polar Music Prize, is the Nobel Prize of music. Since 1992, two prominent, internationally well-recognized musical artists have been awarded every year in May at a prize ceremony in Stockholm. In 2000, Bob Dylan and Isaac Stern were awarded, and received the prize from his Royal Highness the King of Sweden.
To learn more about current Swedish music and music festivals, please visit the following websites:
Export Music Sweden - The Gateway to Swedish Music:
The Association of Swedish Music Festivals: www.musikfestivaler.se
The Swedish Concert Institute (Rikskonserter): www.rikskonserter.se
The Swedish Jazz Federation and the Swedish Jazz Academy: www.swedejazz.se
The Royal University College of Music (KMH): www.kmh.se