The 2007 Polar Music Prize is awarded to the American composer and musician Steve Reich. The award recognises his unique ability to use repeats, canon technique and minimal variation of patterns to develop an entire universe of evocative music, endowed with immediate tonal beauty. Inspired by different musical traditions, Steve Reich has transferred questions of faith, society and philosophy into a hypnotic-sounding music that has inspired musicians and composers of all genres.
The 2007 Polar Music Prize is also awarded to the American tenor saxophonist and composer Sonny Rollins, one of the most powerful and personal voices in jazz for more than 50 years. Sonny Rollins has elevated the unaccompanied solo to the highest artistic level – all characterised by a distinctive and powerful sound, irresistible swing and an individual musical sense of humor.
He is still active and the greatest remaining master from one of jazz’s seminal eras.
The prize winners 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 on Monday the 21st of May.
A whole weekend of activities is being planned under the name of Polar Music Prize Week, encompassing exhibitions, workshops, seminars, film screenings and live performances at various locations in Stockholm. This is an important area of expansion and a means of increasing both local and international awareness of the Polar Music Prize.
Each recipient receives a total amount of one million Swedish kronor, which is equivalent to approximately USD 140,000 or EUR 108,000.
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. Anderson donated a large sum of money to The Royal Swedish Academy of Music to establish The Stig Anderson Music Award Foundation and to create what was to become known as the Polar Music Prize.