The Laureates of the Polar Music Prize 2014 are CHUCK BERRY & PETER SELLARS

The Laureates of the Polar Music Prize 2014 are:


Chuck Berry Citation:

The Polar Music Prize 2014 is awarded to Chuck Berry from St. Louis, USA. The
parameters of rock music were set one day in May 1955, when Chuck Berry recorded
his debut single “Maybellene”. Chuck Berry was the rock’n’roll pioneer who turned the
electric guitar into the main instrument of rock music. Every riff and solo played by rock
guitarists over the last 60 years contains DNA that can be traced right back to Chuck
Berry. The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and a million other groups began to learn their
craft by playing Chuck Berry songs. Chuck Berry is also a superb songwriter. In the
course of three minutes he conjures up an image of the everyday life and dreams of a
teenager, often with the focus on cars. Chuck Berry, born in 1926, was the first to drive
up onto the highway and announce that we are born to run.

Peter Sellars Citation:

The Polar Music Prize 2014 is awarded to Peter Sellars from Pittsburgh, USA. The
director Peter Sellars is a living definition of what the Polar Music Prize is all about:
highlighting the music and presenting it in a new context. With his controversial
productions of opera and theatre, Peter Sellars has depicted everything from war and
famine to religion and globalisation. Sellars has set Mozart in the luxury of Trump
Tower and in the drug trade of Spanish Harlem, turned Nixon’s visit to China into opera
and set Kafka’s obsession with home cleanliness to music. Peter Sellars shows us that
classical music is not about dusty sheet music and metronomic precision, but that
classical music, with its violent power and complexity, has fundamentally always been
and will continue to be a way of reflecting and depicting the world.

On Tuesday, 26 of August the Laureates 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. The ceremony will be broadcast
live on national television (TV4). Each recipient receives a total amount of one million

The Polar Music Prize was founded in 1989, 25 years ago this year, by the late Stig ”Stikkan”
Anderson, a true legend in the history of Swedish popular music. Stig Anderson was the
publisher, lyricist and manager of ABBA, and he played a key role in their enormous success.
The name of the prize stems from Anderson’s legendary record label, Polar Music.

The Polar Music Prize is an international music prize, which is awarded to individuals, groups
or institutions in recognition of exceptional achievements in the creation and advancement of

The Polar Music Prize awards two Laureates in order to celebrate music in all its various forms
and to emphasize the original intention of the Polar Music Prize: To break down musical
boundaries by bringing together people from all the different worlds of music.

The board of the Polar Music Prize Foundation consists of representatives from the Stig
Anderson family, SKAP (The Swedish Society of Songwriters, Composers and Authors) and
STIM (The Swedish Performing Rights Society). The task of scrutinizing nominations
submitted and selecting the ultimate Laureates is empowered The Polar Music Award
Committee comprising of internationally renowned artists and musicians as well as other key
figures in the Swedish music industry.

When tweeting about the Polar Music Prize, please use the official #polarmusicprize


2013 Kaija Saariaho and Yossou N’Dour
2012 Yo-Yo Ma and Paul Simon
2011 Kronos Quartet and Patti Smith
2010 Ennio Morricone and Björk
2009 José Antonio Abreu & El Sistema and Peter Gabriel
2008 Renée Fleming and Pink Floyd
2007 Steve Reich and Sonny Rollins
2006 Valery Gergiev and Led Zeppelin
2005 Gilberto Gil and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
2004 B.B. King and György Ligeti
2003 Keith Jarrett
2002 Sofia Gubaidulina and Miriam Makeba
2001 Burt Bacharach, Robert Moog and Karlheinz Stockhausen
2000 Bob Dylan and Isaac Stern
1999 Stevie Wonder and Iannis Xenakis
1998 Ray Charles and Ravi Shankar
1997 Eric Ericson and Bruce Springsteen
1996 Pierre Boulez and Joni Mitchell
1995 Sir Elton John and Mstislav Rostropovich
1994 Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Quincy Jones
1993 Dizzy Gillespie and Witold Lutoslawski
1992 Sir Paul McCartney and The Baltic States

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