Friday, August 29, 2008

HM King Carl XVI Gustaf handed Polar Music Prize

American soprano Renee Fleming and Pink Floyd band members Nick Mason and Roger Waters have received this year's Swedish Polar Music Prize.

Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf handed the prizes to the winners at a ceremony in the Stockholm Concert Hall on Tuesday. The British rock legends and the opera star were given standing ovations when they arrived to receive the awards, each worth 106,700 euros.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Music honoured Fleming „in recognition of her sublime unparalleled voice and unique stylistic versatility.“

„Connoisseurs and the general public alike have been dazzled by the beauty of her soft and natural voice, which is equally supple in every register and exudes sensitivity in every tone,“ it said.

Nick Mason and Roger Waters accepted the award on behalf of Pink Floyd, selected „for their monumental contribution over the decades to the fusion of art and music in the development of popular culture.“

„Through extensive sonic experimentation, they captured the mood and spirit of a whole generation in their reflections and attitudes,“ the academy said.

The Polar prize is Sweden's biggest music award and was founded in 1989 by the late Stig Anderson, the publisher, lyricist and manager of iconic Swedish pop group ABBA. It is usually split between pop artists and classical musicians.

Among the previous winners are Paul McCartney, Dizzy Gillespie, Mstislav Rostropovitch, Elton John, Keith Jarrett, B.B. King, British rock legends Led Zeppelin and American superstars Bruce Springsteen, Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder and Bob Dylan.

Last year the prize was shared by US composer Steve Reich and jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins.

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