Country music icon Emmylou Harris has been announced as one of the two 2015 Laureates to receive Sweden’s prestigious Polar Music Prize. A 13-time Grammy winner and member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, Harris and her fellow Laureate, acclaimed Scottish percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie, will attend the gala event and receive their prizes from Sweden’s King Carl XVI on June 9th at Stockholm’s Concert Hall.
“I was both surprised and honored at the news of this most prestigious award,” Harris said in a statement. “[I’m] now looking forward to once again returning to your beautiful country where I was first so warmly welcomed those many years ago.”
Now in its 24th year, the Polar Music Prize, often referred to as the “Nobel Prize for music,” recognizes one Laureate from contemporary music and one from the classical world. Paul McCartney and the Baltic States were the first Laureates in 1992, with rocker Chuck Berry and theater director Peter Sellars the most recent recipients. Other Laureates include Dizzy Gillespie, Patti Smith, Bob Dylan, Ravi Shankar and Ray Charles.
The Polar Music Prize was founded by Stig “Stikkan” Anderson, the publisher, lyricist and manager of pop supergroup ABBA, one of Sweden’s most profitable exports of all time. The Prize honors “significant achievements in music and/or music activity” and endeavors “to break down musical boundaries.”
Also taking place in Stockholm on June 8th, one day before the Prizes are awarded, will be the Polar Music Talks, a debate of 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.
Polar Music Prize Laureates each receive a specially designed trophy and one million Swedish Krona, a cash award equal to just under $116,000 in U.S. dollars.