Emmylou Harris, Evelyn Glennie announced as 2015 Polar Music Prize recipients

The Polar Music Prize, the world’s most prestigious music award, has announced that Emmylou Harris, 13-time Grammy winner and Dame Evelyn Glennie, leading virtuoso percussionist, are the richly deserving 2015 Laureates.  Both Laureates will attend the gala ceremony and receive their prizes from King Carl XVI on June 9th in Stockholm’s Concert Hall.

“In Evelyn Glennie and Emmylou Harris, the Foundation has chosen two exceptional Laureates for this year’s Polar Music Prize, as both represent the spirit of the Award that my father envisaged when he founded the Prize,” Marie Ledin, Managing Director of the Polar Music Prize, states in a press release. “We look forward to honouring Evelyn and Emmylou and paying tribute to their exceptional music careers.”

“I was hugely humbled and inspired when I learned that I was to be awarded with the prestigious Polar Music Prize,” Dame Glennie states. “To be chosen from so many deserving people, from all genres of music, only makes me want to work harder, to make a difference and to rise to the occasion. Accepting the Polar Music Prize is a great honour, for which I am extremely grateful.”

Glennie has an impressive international reputation as both the world’s first full-time classical percussionist and composer of soundtracks for film and television.  She is a leading commissioner of new works for solo percussion, numbering over 170 pieces written for her.  Glennie has recorded over 30 albums, has won three Grammys, tours the world and continues to give regular master classes to encourage future generations of percussionists.

“I was both surprised and honored at the news of this most prestigious award, and am now looking forward to once again returning to your beautiful country where I was first so warmly welcomed those many years ago,” Harris says. “Thank you Polar Music Prize!”

Harris, from Birmingham, Albama, is one of the world’s most respected and influential singer songwriters, who has won rave reviews and accolades throughout her four decades career.  She has recorded more than 25 albums and her collaborations with artists such as Bob Dylan, Linda Ronstadt, Gram Parsons, Willie Nelson and Beck have been critically acclaimed.  In 2008 she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

“I was both surprised and honored at the news of this most prestigious award.”

The Polar Music Prize, which many refer to as the “Nobel Prize for music,” is now in its 24th year and recognises one Laureate from the contemporary music world and one from the more classical.  The first Laureates in 1992 were Paul McCartney and the Baltic States and the most recent, was Chuck Berry and theatre director Peter Sellars.   The roll call of former Laureates reads like a who’s who of modern classical music: Dizzy Gillespie, Patti Smith, Bob Dylan, Ravi Shankar, Renee Fleming, Ray Charles, Youssou N’dour, Mstislav Rostropovich and Kronos Quartet.

The Polar Music Prize was founded by Stig “Stikkan” Anderson, the publisher, lyricist and manager of ABBA, to honour “significant achievements in music and/or music activity and to break down musical boundaries.”

The board of the Stig Anderson Music Award Foundation includes 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 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 each receive a specially designed trophy and cash prize of £78,560 (1 million Swedish Krona).

The Polar Music Talks, held in Stockholm, also take place on June 8th and will debate current issues in the music industry. For the first time in the Prize’s history, the Polar Music Talks will also take place in New York on April 1st.

Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.