The Polar Music Prize is one of the most prestigious music prizes in the world. It recognizes significant achievement in the field of popular and classical music.


American rock legend Iggy Pop (“The Passenger”) and the French intercontemporary ensemble with its German musical director Matthias Pintscher will receive the famous Swedish Polar Music Prize this year.

This was announced by the awards committee on Tuesday. With his flagship band The Stooges, Iggy Pop created furious rock music by fusing influences from blues, jazz and the roar of the American automotive industry, the jury found. With his courage and energy, he paved the way for big names in punk like the Sex Pistols and the Ramones. Even as a solo artist, he never stopped.

Iggy Pop, real name James Newell Osterberg, is “an absolutely unique artist who personifies and embodies what rock music is,” the awards committee said. “Iggy Pop is unique. There is no one like him,” said the prize’s chief executive, Marie Ledin.

The Paris-based Ensemble intercontemporain, meanwhile, is a pioneering collective that helped push the boundaries of modern classical music, according to Ledin. The ensemble, made up of 31 soloists, has inspired the greatest composers of the time to create new masterpieces since the 1970s.

This year, the Polar Prize is again endowed with one million Swedish crowns (nearly 96,000 euros) and will be awarded on May 24 in Stockholm. Iggy Pop and ensemble director Matthias Pintscher want to come to the Swedish capital for this, as the jury said.

The first winner of the Polar Prize was Paul McCartney 30 years ago. Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Metallica, Pink Floyd and Bob Dylan have also been honored. No laureate was awarded because of the corona virus in 2021. In the previous two years, Russian opera singer Anna Netrebko, American songwriter Diane Warren, German violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and pioneer of hip-hop Grandmaster Flash had been rewarded. (dpa)