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. Its name stems from Anderson´s legendary record label, Polar Music. The Polar Music Prize is one of the most prestigious and unique music prizes in the world, crossing over musical boundaries and awarded to individuals, groups and institutions in recognition of exceptional achievements.

The board of the Stig Anderson Music Award Foundation includes 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 Laureates is undertaken by an Award Committee comprising of experienced members of the music industry, representatives from the Anderson family, musicians, and previous Laureates.

Laureates from a wide range of countries, cultures and continents have received the Prize in Stockholm from the hand of His Majesty, King Carl XVI Gustaf.

Music has no boundries; it touches, influences and changes the world.

Stig "Stikkan" Anderson, Founder of the Polar Music Prize
Chapter: Where it all began

Where it all began

When, in 1989, Stig Anderson donated MSEK 42 it was with the intention of endowing “the world’s biggest music prize” and that is exactly what he accomplished.

The Polar Music Prize was endowed for the purpose of awarding, annually if possible, The Polar Music Prize to one or more persons.

The donor’s breadth of musical vision, characterized by an insistence that it is not only “good” music in the conventional sense which deserves to be rewarded, because “good” music can mean such a wide variety of things, is reflected by the statues of the foundation. Without any restrictions of nationality, the prize is to “awarded for significant achievements in music and/or musical activity, or for achievements which are found to be of great potential importance for music or musical activity, and it shall be referable to all fields within or closely connected with music”.

Gudrun and Stig Anderson at the first Polar Music Prize Ceremony, 1992 (Photo: © Polar Music Prize)

The first award, in 1992, when an extra large sum of money was available for distribution because the fund had been accumulating during the build-up phase, clearly manifested the wide scope of the prize, with one award going to Sir Paul McCartney – who received MSEK 1, of which he immediately donated part to a hospital, while using the other to help in the setting up of a Performing Arts School in his native Liverpool – for his achievements in popular music – the field in which Stig Anderson himself had achieved the successes enabling him to endow the prize in the first place – and at the same time each of the three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania received MSEK 1 towards the establishment of a performing rights organization corresponding to STIM in Sweden. The Polar Music Prize is globally unique through its combination of breadth and size. Nominations are handled by a prize committee which is entitled to nominate candidates of its own. This committee includes representatives from SKAP (the Swedish Society of Popular Music Composers), FST (the Society of Swedish Composers), representatives from the Anderson family, musicians, previous Laureates and Musikförläggarna (the Swedish Music Publishers Association).

Chapter: Stig

Stig "Stikkan" Anderson

Anderson started as a composer and lyric writer and had his first song published in Sweden in 1950, when he was 19 years old. During the 50s he wrote several songs, a number of which became minor hits. His first very big success, in 1959, was Klas-Göran, which gave him golden records not only in all the Nordic countries, but also for instance in Holland (Rockin´Billy). At the end of the 60s Sweden Music, Anderson´s company, was the biggest pop music publisher in Scandinavia. Anderson understood very early that he also needed a record label as a complement to his publishing activity, so he formed Polar Music and had successes with local artists during the 60s.

The big international break came with a Swedish group he came to call ABBA. He was manager and lyric writer and they won the Eurovision Song Contest in Brighton, England, in 1974 with a song called Waterloo. The rest is history. In 1989 he sold his companies to Polygram, but Anderson was still Chairman of the Board for Sweden Music AB and Polar Music International. Anderson received many Swedish and international awards during his years. For example, he was an honorary member of The Royal Swedish Academy of Music, which was founded in 1771. However, the International award he was most proud of was Billboard Magazine´s Trendsetter Award´. Such a distinction had only been presented to one European person before Stig Anderson, and that was Brian Epstein, The Beatles´ manager. Stig Anderson died on September 12, 1997.

Chapter: Nomination

Nomination

The Polar Music Prize Committee has, apart from single members’ potential to nominate future Laureates, an international working process for nominations, which enables broader substrate for the Prize Committee to relate to in a sample process. The Prize Committee receives nominations from ECSA (the European Composer and Songwriter Alliance) and its 40 author representative organizations in 25 European countries. The Prize Committee also receives a growing number of nominations from individuals all over the world. These nominations, too, are taken into consideration in the work of the Prize Committee, before the it reaches its final decision.

CISAC – Confédération Internationale des Sociétés d’Auteurs et Composers and IFPI – International Federation of the Phonographic Industry have over the years also contributed with nominations from its members.

Since the mid 2000′s, the Award Committee has established links with senior advisors from previous Polar Music Prize Laureates, such as Renee Fleming and Ennio Morricone.

Nomination

Who in the world of music, touches, influences and changes the world? Make your nomination!
Chapter: The Board

The Board

Stig Anderson had a belief and a vision. Music has no boundaries; it touches, influences and changes the world. The quality of a musical work is independent of its genre, source or conformity with prevailing trends. When great musicians get together, they speak the same language and find more similarities than differences.

Anderson knew all that when he donated 42 million Swedish kronor in 1989 and paved the way for the Polar Music Prize.

The endowment is now managed by the Stig Anderson Music Award Foundation, which has three chief sponsors: the Anderson family, the Swedish Society of Popular Music Composers (SKAP) and the Swedish Performing Rights Society (STIM).

According to the by-laws, the prize must “be awarded for significant achievements in music and/or musical life, or for achievements which are believed to be of great potential importance for the advancement of music and/or musical life and shall cover all fields within music or be closely connected with it.”

Anderson wanted to reward extraordinary achievements in the world of music, as well as provide a unique venue for world artists with different musical platforms.

An independent 12-member Award Committee that includes representatives of SKAP, the Society of Swedish Composers (FST) and the Swedish Music Publishers Association (SMFF) selects the Laureates. The committee receives nominations from Confédération Internationale des Sociétés d´Auteurs et Compositeurs (CISAC), the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), the European Composer and Songwriter Alliance (ECSA) and a number of other organisations.

Many international stars and musicians have come to Stockholm through the years to accept the Polar Music Prize from the hands of King Carl XVI Gustaf.

Thus, Anderson’s vision of providing a unique venue has been realised.

-Lennart Wiklund

Members of the Board

Lennart Wiklund

About

Lennart Wiklund

Chairman of the Polar Music Prize Board
Senior Advisor and Board of Directors assignment within Bonnier AB, chairman of the board in Medieföretagen, Vice President of Almega. Worked in media since 1972, at newspaper Expressen from 1972 to 1982 as a journalist and in leading management roles. CEO of AB Svensk Filmindustri from 1984 to 1996, then directors assignment within Bonnier AB, responsible for areas such as European Affairs, Human Resources and Public Affairs. E-mail: lennart.wiklund@polarmusicprize.org

Anders Anderson

About

Anders Anderson

Member of the Polar Music Prize Board, the Polar Music Prize Award Committee, and Chairman of the Supervisory Board
Member of the Polar Music Prize Board, the Polar Music Prize Award Committee, and Chairman of the Supervisory Board

Director of the Swedish House of Finance (SHoF) at the Stockholm School of Economics.

E-mail: anders.anderson@polarmusicprize.org

Monica Ekmark

About
Monica Ekmark, member of the Polar Music Prize Board

Monica Ekmark

Member of the Polar Music Prize Board
Monica Ekmark started her career in the music business in 1975 at Stig Andersons’ music publishing company Sweden Music AB. She is today holding the position of General Manager at the Swedish entity of the international major publishing company Universal Music Publ. AB.
Monica Ekmark is Chair of the Board of SMFF (Swedish music publishers’ association), board member of STIM (Swedish performing rights society) and Musiksverige (an umbrella organization representing the collective interests of the Swedish commercial music industry).

Alfons Karabuda

About

Alfons Karabuda

Member of the Polar Music Prize Board, Chairman of the Polar Music Prize Award Committee
As a composer, mainly of film and theatre music, Alfons has an extensive career in Sweden and internationally, with music composed for BBC, Zentropa, DR, SVT, the Swedish Film Institute, Dance House and the Stockholm City Theatre.
Alfons Karabuda is chairman of SKAP (Swedish Composers of Popular Music), ECSA (European Composer & Songwriter Alliance), APCOE (The Alliance of Popular Music Composer Organization of Europe) and Vice Chairman of STIM (Swedish International Music Composers Bureau).
E-mail: alfons.karabuda@polarmusicprize.org

Marie Ledin

About

Marie Ledin

Member of the Polar Music Prize Board and Managing Director of the Polar Music Prize
Marie held positions as Label Manager and Promotion Manager with Polar Music International until 1986. Then started The Record Station (record company), which was bought by Bertelsmann. Worked at BMG until 1995 when she started Anderson Records. In 2005 Marie started Anderson Pocket, a book publishing company. Marie is also a board member of the charity organization Stockholms Stadsmission.
E-mail: marie.ledin@polarmusicprize.org

Michael Storåkers

About

Michael Storåkers

Member of the Polar Music Prize Board
Executive Director of the Acne Studios Board, Chairman FLX 2.0 AB and Bernadotte & Kylberg AB. Member of the Rodebjer AB and Fidelio AB board. Former executive chairman of Pysslingen AB, McCann Nordic AB and member of the Stockholm School of Economics, Bukowskis and Fortum Värme AB board.

Chapter: The Prize Committee

The Prize Committee

The Polar Music Prize is awarded for significant contributions in any area of music, in line with the guidelines of founder Stig Anderson.

In highlighting two very different musical achievements that still share certain clear characteristics, we seek to build bridges across musical genres.

The composition of the Prize Committee for the Polar Music Prize reflects the full spectrum of musical endeavour and is intended to represent a wide range of expertise as well as authority and integrity.

As in previous years, the Prize Committee has, apart from its members’ own nominees, in addition received nominations not only from professional organisations such as ECSA (European Composer and Songwriter Alliance) and CISAC (International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers), but also from a growing number of private individuals. These nominations, too, are taken into consideration in the work of the Prize Committee, before it reaches its final decision. The increasing interest has not made the work of the committee easier, but the certainty of having made the right choice more evident.

The committee´s assignment and dedicated work, going through in-depth discussions showing what shifts below the surface, has culminated in a unanimous decision on this year’s fantastic laureates.

-Alfons Karabuda

Members of the Award Committee

Alfons Karabuda

About

Alfons Karabuda

Chairman of the Polar Music Prize Award Committee
As a composer, mainly of film and theatre music, Alfons has an extensive career in Sweden and internationally, with music composed for BBC, Zentropa, DR, SVT, the Swedish Film Institute, Dansens Hus and the Stockholm City Theatre, among others. Alfons Karabuda is chairman of SKAP, the Swedish Society of Songwriters, Composers and Authors, President of ECSA, European Composer & Songwriter Alliance, and expert in the field of artistic rights to the UN Human Rights Council. He is a member of the executive board at the International Music Council, Statens Musikverks konstnärliga råd (The Artistic Board of Music Development and Heritage Sweden), Musiksverige (Musicsweden), STIM (The Swedish Performing Rights Society) and Svensk Musik (Swedish Music).

Anders Anderson

About

Anders Anderson

Represents the Anderson family. Anders is Director of the Swedish House of Finance (SHoF) at the Stockholm School of Economics and holds a PhD in Finance from the Stockholm School of Economics. He is member of the board of the Polar Music Prize, Chairman of its Investment Committee.

Lars Anderson

About

Lars Anderson

Represents the Anderson family. Composer arranger and producer of popular music, and has received numerous Swedish and international music awards. Member of SKAP and STIM.

Douglas Carr

About

Douglas Carr

Douglas Carr, one of the corner stones and key components behind “the Swedish music wonder”. Responsible for putting Ace Of Base at no. 1 on US Billboard Chart and producing “The Sign” together with partner Denniz PoP. He has also written and produced hits such as Dr Alban’s “Sing Hallelujah” and Meja’s “All ‘Bout The Money”. He is currently a member of the board for both STIM (Swedish International Music Composers Bureau) and SKAP (Swedish Composers Of Popular Music). Douglas started writing melodies at the age of 6 and his journey with music continues being the center of his heart and profession.

Malena Ernman

About
Malena Ernman

Malena Ernman

Hovsångerska Malena Ernman was recently called ” without a doubt one of the worlds greatest singers” in Swedens leading newspaper Dagens Nyheter. But Malena Ernman is far more than a world class mezzo. She is an entertainer in the words true meaning – a groundbreaking modern classical artist with an extremely flexible voice, spanning over nearly 4 octaves. A voice that is willing to try out anything that spells music. Malena Ernman is educated at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, the Conservatoire d’Orléans and the National Opera School in Stockholm. Her musical background is firmly anchored in the Swedish choir tradition. From the age of 6 she was a member of the Coromanterna Choir in her native Sandviken; a small industrial town some 200km north of Stockholm. And until her exam from the National Opera School she sang the first alto part in the Swedish Radio Choir under the supervision of Tönu Kaljuste, Gustav Sjökvist and Eric Ericsson.

Renée Fleming (Senior Advisor)

About

Renée Fleming (Senior Advisor)

As “the people’s diva” and as a respected musical ambassador, celebrated soprano Renée Fleming has charmed audiences around the globe, from the world’s leading opera and concert houses to the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony to recent performances in Russia and Beijing during the 2008 Olympic Games. In September 2008, Ms. Fleming became the first woman in the history of the Metropolitan Opera to headline an opening-night gala. Among the soprano’s numerous awards are Honorary Membership in the Royal Academy of Music (2003); the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur by the French government (2005) and the Polar Music Prize (2008).

Stefan Forsberg

About

Stefan Forsberg

Stefan Forsberg was in 2003 appointed Executive and Artistic Director of the Stockholm Concert Hall Foundation and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. In March 2012 the Stockholm Concert Hall Foundation extended his appointment until 2021. Forsberg also holds a position at the Royal Court as Lord in Waiting and is since 2009 a member of The Royal Academy of Music. During Forsberg's period, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra’s international presence has been of highest priority. The orchestra has debuted at the London Proms, conducted large landscaped Japanese-tours, visited Carnegie Hall and United Nations in New York and made several other European tours and guest performances. At home in the Stockholm Concert Hall has the leading artists of today made Stockholm to a regular venue in their yearly planning.

Jonas Forssell

About

Jonas Forssell

Jonas Forssell works as a musician in various genres; he has written music for among others the Swedish National Theatre Centre and the regional theatres in Gothenburg and Uppsala. He has also written a number of operas, such as the acclaimed Riket är ditt which was his definitive breakthrough as a composer and resulted in Svenska Dagbladet’s Opera Prize and the German Wolf Ebermann Prize. In 1988 he was the first modern composer to be commissioned to write a musical drama for the Drottningholm Court Theatre and its baroque orchestra, and during the summer of 1999, the opera Trädgården had a successful première. Between 1996-1998 Jonas Forssell was the artistic director of the Northern Opera of Sweden in Umeå, and 2002-2005 he held the same position at “The Other Opera” in Copenhagen, a chamber opera company dedicated only to contemporary works. Since 2005 he is full-time “composer in residence” at the Malmö Opera, writing three full-length opera works for the house. Since September 2010 Forssell works as PhD research student at the University College of Opera in Stockholm in a project called “The Transfigurations of the Text”.

Kim Hedås

About

Kim Hedås

Kim Hedås is a composer, trained at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. Her music has been performed by orchestras and ensembles such as the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestra of NorrlandsOperan, Norrbotten NEO, Gageego!, pëarls before swine experience, Kroumata, VOX, DalaSinfoniettan, and the Gothenburg Opera. Hedås’ list of works contains chamber music, orchestral music, choral music, theatre music and electro acoustic music. She collaborates regularly with other artists in projects combining music with theatre, art and architecture. Hedås has been composer-in-residence for the Swedish Radio P2 and has also been appointed as recipient of several grants and prizes. In recent years, her music has been performed at, among others, Göteborgs Konserthus, Moderna museet, Kulturhuset, Färgfabriken, the Venice Architecture Biennale, Kivik Art Centre, Teater Galeasen, Audiorama, and the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm. In September 2013, Kim Hedås completed her PhD at the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Gothenburg with the dissertation Linjer. Musikens rörelser – komposition i förändring (Lines: Music moving – composition changing).

Martin Ingeström

About

Martin Ingeström

Martin Ingeström has been working for various companies in the music industry since 1989. Martin started his career working for Sture Borgedahl at Air Music Scandinavia AB, General Manager at Chrysalis Records Sweden, Managing Director – MCA Music Publishing AB, A&R Director- MCA Records AB and is now President UMP Sweden/SVP Nordic Region-Universal Music Publishing AB. Universal Music Publishing is one of the leading Music Publishers in the world, the Swedish office represents songwriters like ABBA, Robyn, Swedish House Maffia, Oskar Linnros, Veronica Maggio, Jörgen Elofsson, and many many more. He is also the head of ceremony for Musikförläggarnas Pris (MPA awards) and board member of Singbox AB.

Thomas Johansson

About

Thomas Johansson

Thomas Johansson is one of the most experienced persons in the Concert industry. He founded EMA Telstar in 1969 and is the largest promoter in the Nordic countries. He is currently the Chairman of International Music at Live Nation. Thomas Johansson works with such artists as Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, Bob Dylan, U2, Metallica, and the Rolling Stones just to mention a few. Besides bringing some of the largest artists to perform in the Nordic Countries, he is the tour producer and promoter behind the Swedish sensations ABBA and Roxette. He produced all ABBA world tours 1975-1980 and Roxette’s world tours. He is still producing Roxette’s successful ongoing world tour. He has also been involved in the musical Chess in the 80’s and Mamma Mia in the 90’s.

Ennio Morricone (Senior Advisor)

About

Ennio Morricone (Senior Advisor)

Maestro Ennio Morricone has composed and arranged scores for more than 500 film and TV productions and is widely acknowledged as one of the most prolific and influential film composers of his era. He is well-known for his long-term collaborations with international acclaimed directors such as Sergio Leone, Brian De Palma, Barry Levinson, and Giuseppe Tornatore.
Ennio Morricone received the Polar Music Prize in 2010. He has also received numerous Grammies, BAFTAs, Golden Globes, Nastro d’Argento and David di Donatello awards. In 2007, he received the Academy Honorary Award “for his magnificent and multifaceted contributions to the art of film music”.

Georg ”Jojje” Wadenius

About

Georg ”Jojje” Wadenius

Georg Wadenius has been a professional guitarist, composer, arranger and producer since 1968. He first became known in his native country, Sweden, through his work with the group “Made in Sweden” and for his children’s songs. He was also early on one of the most sought after studio players in Stockholm. He was then hired by “Blood, Sweat and Tears” and moved to the USA and played with them for three and a half years (1972-5). Later on he became a member of the “Saturday Night Live” band (1979-85) and in the 1980‘s he was one of the 4-5 most used session guitarists in New York, playing on records by Luther Vandross, Roberta Flack, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Aretha Franklin, Donald Fagen, Michael Franks, Joe Thomas, Backstreet Boys and countless others. He also toured briefly with Roberta Flack (‘80), Luther Vandross (‘81), Simon and Garfunkel (‘82) and Steely Dan (‘94). Georg Wadenius is currently Music Director at the Polar Music Prize Ceremony. He has received five Grammies over the years and just about any music award that you could think of in Sweden (Hagström Prize, Guitar People Prize and the Cornelis Prize).

Lennart Åberg

About
Lennart Aberg, member of the Polar Music Prize Committee

Lennart Åberg

Lennart Åberg is one of Sweden’s most renowned jazz musicians. He plays saxophones and flute and is also a composer, arranger and producer. Lennart Åberg has played with all the greatest Swedish jazz stars and has been a member and artistic leader of the Swedish Radio Jazz Group. He has also collaborated and played with a long row of international musicians like Bob Brookmeyer, George Russell, Carla Bley, Don Cherry, Zakir Hussain, Peter Erskine etc. Lennart has toured and played internationally in most countries in Europe, in USA, India, China and Africa. He has performed with symphony orchestras, folk musicians, played fusion, world music etc. and contemporary art music, Indian, African, eastern European and Turkish music are all part of Lennart Åberg’s musical palette. Lennart has performed at the Polar Music Prize ceremonies for Ravi Shankar and Sonny Rollins and had a long conversation in public with Polar Music Prize Laureate Keith Jarrett.
He has received several musical awards and prizes such as the Swedish Grammy, Manifest, Jazz musician of the year (2007), Jazz record of the year (2000, 2007), Django d’Or, the Jan Johansson, Lars Gullin, and Bert Levin prizes, the KMA Jazz prize, City of Uppsala grant etc. Since 1995 he is a member of the Royal Academy of Music, KMA.

Chapter: The Investment Committee

The Investment Committee

The Polar Music Prize endowment is managed by an investment committee consisting of a mix of leading academic scholars and practitioners in the financial market. The committee is chaired by Anders Anderson, and consists of Magnus Dahlquist, Hans Fahlin, Harrison Hong, and Jan Häggström.

-Anders Anderson

Members of the Investment Committee

Anders Anderson

About

Anders Anderson

Chairman
Director of the Swedish House of Finance (SHoF) at the Stockholm School of Economics.

Magnus Dahlquist

About

Magnus Dahlquist

Member of the Board
Professor of Finance at the Stockholm School of Economics

Hans Fahlin

About

Hans Fahlin

Member of the Board
Chief Investment Officer
at the Second Swedish National Pension Fund/AP2

Harrison Hong

About

Harrison Hong

Senior Advisor
The John Scully ’66 Professor of Economics and Finance
at Princeton University

Jan Häggström

About

Jan Häggström

Member of the Board
Chief Economist and Head of Macroeconomic Research
at Svenska Handelsbanken

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