In the arguments it was mentioned that Maria Kalaniemi has created her own recognisable style in playing accordion. Her style is a combination of sensitivity and power. She has widened the role of the accordion in folk music. Her music is inspired by runo singing and Finnish Swede tradition. She has also educated new musician generations and performed world widely.
The State Prize for Music is awarded to Maria Kalaniemi by the National Council for Music of The Arts Promotion Centre Finland. The ceremony was at the 50 years anniversary of art councils 27.11.2018.