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Björk shares Polar Music Prize

The Local · 17 May 2010, 11:05

Published: 17 May 2010 11:05 GMT+02:00

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The winners will receive 1 million kronor ($122,000) each and formally accept the prize from Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf at a ceremony in Stockholm on August 30th.

Björk was honoured for "[making] an indelible mark on pop music and modern culture at large, despite her relative youth," the organisation said in a statement.

"No other artist moves so freely between avant-garde and pop," the jury said. "Björk has introduced an Arctic temperament to popular music and shown how passionate and explosive it can be. Björk is an untameable force of nature, an artist who marches to nobody's tune but her own."

Björk started her career in Reykjavik in 1977 at the age of 11, recording an eponymous album of children's songs and covers of popular songs that went platinum in Iceland. After achieving international success as the lead vocalist of The Sugarcubes, Björk established herself as a solo artist with the album "Debut" in 1993.

In addition to her musical career, Björk won the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2000 for her lead role in "Dancer in the Dark."

Meanwhile, the jury lauded Morricone's work scoring Spaghetti Western films.

"Ennio Morricone's congenial compositions and arrangements lift our existence to another plane, making the mundane feel like dramatic scenes in full Cinemascope," the jury said in a statement.

"When, in 1964, Ennio Morricone scored the soundtrack for the Western 'A Fistful of Dollars' ('Per un pugno di dollari'), budgetary constraints prevented him from using a full orchestra. Instead, he built up a brand new kind of music that set the tone for half a century of film music."

Story continues below…

The Polar Music Prize was founded in 1989 by the late Stig Anderson, the publisher, lyricist and manager of iconic Swedish pop group ABBA, and is given out to recognize artists' contribution to music. The prize is typically shared by a pop artist and a classical musician.

The prize, which has been awarded since 1992 when it went to ex-Beatle Paul McCartney, has also gone to American musicians Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder and Bruce Springsteen, Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich and British rock musicians Elton John, Peter Gabriel and Pink Floyd.

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Your comments about this article

16:19 May 17, 2010 by Plowbridge
Fantastic News. Ennio Morricone is IMO the greatest composer and arranger of film scores ever. He doesn't do background music but instead breathes memorable integrity into the movies. Who can forget the wistful nostalgic score to "Once upon a Time in America" or the brash concoctions used to help iconicize "The Dollar" series of spaghetti westerns?

He is original, inspirational and evocative. A real legend.

Björk also shares Morricone's abilities to express music with unique and unconventional methods. Both deserve their awards and should be applauded for their contributions to music.
22:54 May 17, 2010 by planethero

well said
04:04 May 18, 2010 by flyingcarpetblues

Plowbridge, Morricone is a very distant second to Bernard Herrmann.
09:19 May 18, 2010 by Pont-y-garreg
Morricone and Herrmann are both excellent, and have both contributed uniquely to the development of cinema music, in their own distinctive ways.
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