The Polar Music Prize 2015 is awarded to percussionist Evelyn Glennie from Aberdeen, Scotland. Evelyn Glennie, who has been deaf since the age of twelve, has a mission to teach the world to listen. She has widened our understanding of what music is and shown us that listening is only partly to do with our ears. Everyone, whatever their physical circumstances, can perceive and perform music, can feel and convey good vibrations. We all have our own, individual tone. In her home country of the United Kingdom, she has changed the criteria for acceptance by music schools, has been honoured by the Queen for her efforts and had a key role in the opening of the Olympic Games in London in 2012. As a musician, she is one of very few who have successfully made a career as a solo percussionist. She has played with the world’s foremost orchestras, conductors and artists and has released more than 30 solo albums. Evelyn Glennie shows us that the body is a resonance chamber and that we live in a universe of sound.
The Polar Music Prize 2015 is awarded to the artist Emmylou Harris from Birmingham, Alabama. No one in the history of popular music has harmonised like Emmylou Harris. For five decades she has embellished other artists’ recordings by adding vocal parts that did not exist in the melodies. But it is as an artist in her own right that she has made the greatest contribution. The music of Emmylou Harris contains the history and topography of the entire American continent. Her voice follows the contours of the American landscape, from the highest peaks to the endless prairie. Weather, soil and colour, it can all be perceived in her music. As she sings in one of the best of her own compositions, she is a red dirt girl from a red dirt town. Emmylou Harris has also used her position as a musician to work for feminism, animal rights and the care of people affected by war. Emmylou Harris makes the world bigger and smaller, more valuable and more beautiful.
Emmylou Harris, 13-time Grammy winner and 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 9 June in Stockholm’s Concert Hall.
The Polar Music Prize was founded by Stig “Stikkan” Anderson, the publisher, lyricist and manager of ABBA. The name of the prize stems from Anderson’s legendary record label, Polar Music.
The Polar Music Prize celebrates the power and importance of music and is awarded to individuals, groups or institutions in recognition of exceptional achievements. 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 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).
High-resolution images of the Laureates can be downloaded below.
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