Steve Reich and Sonny Rollins Receive Polar Music Prize in Stockholm

Classic Arts News   Steve Reich and Sonny Rollins Receive Polar Music Prize in Stockholm
 
Composer Steve Reich and jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins were presented with the 2007 Polar Music Prize today by King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden in a ceremony in Stockholm.

The prizes, which were announced in January, are each worth one million Swedish kronor (currently about €110,000 or $143,000).

Reich is being honored, according to the award citation from the Royal Swedish Academy of Music, for "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." Rollins's citation calls the saxophonist "one of the most powerful and personal voices in jazz for more than 50 years ... [who] has elevated the unaccompanied solo to the highest artistic level — characterised by a distinctive and powerful sound, irresistible swing and an individual musical sense of humor."

The Polar Music Prize was founded in 1989 by Stig Anderson, publisher and manager of the Swedish pop band ABBA, and is given annually by the Royal Swedish Academy to one classical and one jazz or pop musician.

Speaking before the ceremony, Reich told the Associated Press, "This is a very generous prize, and maybe we need a new furnace in our house."

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