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Steve Reich & Sonny Rollins: Winners Of The Polar Music Prize For 2007

United States
English
26 January 2007 — The winners of the Polar Music Prize Award for 2007, were unveiled on Thursday the 25th of January at The Royal Swedish Academy of Music in Stockholm. The Chairman of the Board and Award Committee, Mr. Åke Holmquist, read the Award Committee’s citations.

The Steve Reich Citation

The 2007 Polar Music Prize is awarded to the American composer and musician Steve Reich. The award recognises his unique ability to use repeats, canon technique and minimal variation of patterns to develop an entire universe of evocative music, endowed with immediate tonal beauty. Inspired by different musical traditions, Steve Reich has transferred questions of faith, society and philosophy into a hypnotic sounding music that has inspired musicians and composers of all genres.

The Sonny Rollins Citation

The 2007 Polar Music Prize is awarded to the American tenor saxophonist and composer Sonny Rollins, one of the most powerful and personal voices in jazz for more than 50 years. Sonny Rollins has elevated the unaccompanied solo to the highest artistic level — all characterised by a distinctive and powerful sound, irresistible swing and an individual musical sense of humour.

He is still active and the greatest remaining master from one of jazz’s seminal eras.

The prize winners will receive the prize from His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden at a gala ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall to be followed by a celebratory banquet at Grand Hôtel on Monday the 21st of May.

The event, which is broadcasted on national television (TV4), attracts international media, members of the international music business, celebrities, artists, musicians, government ministers, politicians and leading members of society and industry.

A whole weekend of activities is being planned under the name of Polar Music Prize Week, encompassing exhibitions, workshops, seminars, film screenings and live performances at various locations in Stockholm. This is an important area of expansion for the prize and it is a means for increasing both local and international awareness of the Polar Music Prize.

Each recipient receives a total amount of one million Swedish Crowns which is equivalent to approximately USD 140.000 or EUR 108.000.

February 1st a reception and press event will be given by the Consul General of Sweden in New York to honour the winners of the Polar Music Prize Award for 2007.

The Polar Music Prize was founded in 1989 by the late Stig “Stikkan” Anderson, one of the true greats in the history of popular music. As the publisher, lyricist and manager of ABBA, he played a key role in their enormous success. Anderson donated a large sum of money to The Royal Swedish Academy of Music to establish The Stig Anderson Music Award Foundation in The Royal Swedish Academy of Music and to create what was to become known as the Polar Music Prize.

Its name stems from Anderson’s legendary record label, Polar Records. The Polar Music Prize is an international music prize and awarded to individuals, groups or institutions in recognition of exceptional achievements in the creation and advancement of music. The prize breaks down musical boundaries by bringing together people from all the different worlds of music.

The board of the Stig Anderson Music Award Foundation, consists of representatives from the Stig Anderson family, SKAP (The Swedish Society of Popular Music Composers) and STIM (The Swedish Performing Rights Society). The task of scrutinizing nominations submitted and selecting the ultimate prizewinners is undertaken by an Award Committee comprising of experienced members of the music industry.

Today, the Polar Music Prize has become one of the most prestigious music prize in the world. The list of prize winners bears witness to this. Sir Paul McCartney, Dizzy Gillespie, Witold Lutoslawski, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Quincy Jones, Mstislav Rostropovitch, Sir Elton John, Joni Mitchell, Pierre Boulez, Bruce Springsteen, Eric Ericson, Ray Charles, Ravi Shankar, Iannis Xenakis, Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Isaac Stern, Burt Bacharach, Robert Moog, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Sofia Gubaidulina, Miriam Makeba, Keith Jarrett, B.B. King, Gyórgy Ligeti, Gilberto Gil and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Valery Gergiev and Led Zeppelin have all been bestowed with the Prize since its inception in 1992. In 1992, the Baltic States were also awarded the Prize to encourage them in their work for protection of copyright.

January 25 was Stig Anderson’s birthday and the year 2007 marks the 10-year anniversary of his death.
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