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Metallica Wins Sweden's Polar Music Prize

by VVN Music

Metallica is one of two winners of this year's Polar Music Prize.

The honor was started in 1989 by Stig Anderson, manager for ABBA, as a recognition of excellence in the world of music.  It is normally given to one popular and one classical musician. Those chosen receive 1 million kr (approximately US$120,000) and is awarded by king Carl XVI Gustaf at a ceremony that will be held on June 14 this year.

In chosing Metalica, the Institute said:

The 2018 Polar Music Prize is awarded to the American band Metallica.
Not since Wagner’s emotional turmoil and Tchaikovsky’s cannons has anyone created music that is so physical and furious, and yet still so accessible. Through virtuoso ensemble playing and its use of extremely accelerated tempos, Metallica has taken rock music to places it had never been before. In Metallica’s world, both a teenage bedroom and a concert hall can be transformed into a Valhalla. The strength of the band’s uncompromising albums has helped millions of listeners to transform their sense of alienation into a superpower.

Drummer Lars Ulrich said "Receiving the Polar Music Prize is an incredible thing, it puts us in very distinguished company. It’s a great validation of everything that Metallica has done over the last 35 years. At the same time, we feel like we’re in our prime with a lot of good years ahead of us. Thank you very much."

Bassist Robert Trujillo: "Receiving the Polar Music Prize is such an honor, especially sharing it with artists such as Joni Mitchell, Keith Jarrett and Wayne Shorter, who I admire dearly. It’s incredible to be recognized and honored in this way, to me, it’s very prestigious. Hopefully this will inspire younger generations of musicians to keep the music alive."

Also receiving the honor is the Afghanistan National Institute of Music.

Previous winners of the Polar Music Prize:
  • 2017 Sting and Wayne Shorter
  • 2016 Max Martin and Cecilia Bartoli
  • 2015 Dame Evelyn Glennie and Emmylou Harris
  • 2014 Peter Sellars and Chuck Berry
  • 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