The Magic Week

The first Nobel Prize award ceremony 1901

The first Nobel Prize award ceremony was held in the Musical Academy 1901.

Public domain.

In the first week of December, all roads lead to Oslo and Stockholm, where the year’s Nobel Prize laureates are swept up in a whirlwind of activities that culminates in the Nobel Prize award ceremonies and the Nobel Prize banquets. These memorable events are recounted here by the laureates.

An unforgettable rite of passage

Seamus Heaney
“Nobody who has shared in them will ever forget them”, said Seamus Heaney, literature laureate, in his banquet speech at the Stockholm City Hall in 1995.
Read Seamus Heaney’s speech

A feeling of unreality

Aaron Klug

“It is as though I have been cast as an actor invited to take part in a production and not quite knowing his lines”, was how Aaron Klug, 1982 Nobel Prize laureate in chemistry, described his initial reaction.
Read Aaron Klug’s speech

The dream land of the world

Pierre-Gilles de Gennes

Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, Nobel Prize laureate in physics 1991, paid tribute to Sweden in his Nobel Prize banquet speech.
Read the speech

He carried his speech for four years

Alexandr Solzhenitsyn

Not until 1974 did Alexandr Solzhenitsyn get an opportunity to come to Sweden to attend the Nobel Prize award ceremony. Read his banquet speech.
Read the speech

A fairy tale come true

Wassily Leontief

“I am dining with the King and Princesses in a golden hall, surrounded by the gracious ladies and gentlemen of their court” – read the banquet speech of Russian-born Wassily Leontief, economics sciences laureate 1973.
Read the speech

An illuminated tray of sculptured ice cream

Wassily Leontief

“Suddenly, except for the candles on the tables, all the lights in the Great Blue Hall were extinguished” – read how Philip S. Hench, Nobel Prize laureate in physiology or pedicine, experienced the Nobel Prize award ceremony and the following Nobel Prize banquet at the 50th anniversary of the awarding of the Nobel Prize.
Read the article

It was a once in a lifetime experience

Richard Axel and Linda B. Buck

Richard Axel and Linda B. Buck during the interview with Nobelprize.org.

Medicine laureates Linda Buck and Richard Axel share some of their memories of the Nobel Day 2004.
See the video

Lovely to be in Stockholm

Alan L. HodgkinThe pleasures of being in Stockholm are shared here by Alan L. Hodgkin, laureate in physiology or medicine 1963, in his Nobel Prize banquet speech.
Read the speech

Dancing at the City Hall

Günter Grass

After the solemn Nobel Prize award ceremony comes the Nobel Prize banquet, with music and dancing. Have a look at literature laureate Günter Grass’s photo gallery.
See the photos

To cite this section
MLA style: The Magic Week. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2024. Mon. 17 Jun 2024. <https://www.nobelprize.org/ceremony/the-magic-week/>