Polar Music Prize

The Polar Music Prize is a Swedish international award founded in 1989 by Stig Anderson, best known as the manager of the Swedish band ABBA, with a donation to the Royal Swedish Academy of Music. The award is annually given to one contemporary musician and one classical musician. Exceptions were made in 2001, when it was awarded to three musicians (one composer, one contemporary musician and one inventor), and 2003, when it was awarded only to one composer. Without any restrictions of nationality, the prize is to be "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". The prize has been called the "Nobel Prize of Music".

The first recipients were the British musician, Paul McCartney, and the Baltic States. The most recent award was made to American musician Paul Simon and cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Laureates are awarded 1 million kr (approximately US$144,000). The Polar Music Prize is regarded the foremost musical honour. The prize is overseen by the Stig Anderson Music Award Foundation, which includes members of Anderson's family and representatives of the Swedish Society of Popular Music Composers and the Swedish Performing Rights Society. A committee of musicians, other experienced members of the music industry, and members of Anderson's family selects the prize recipients from nominations submitted by representatives of several international music industry organizations, such as the European Composer and Songwriter Alliance.

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