On Monday 31st August Peter Gabriel and Venezuelan composer, Jose Antonio Abreu received the Polar Music award. Founded by Stig Anderson, the late manager of ABBA, the award recognizes exceptional achievement in music. Since its foundation in 1992 two winners, one from the world of popular music and the other from the classical realm are chosen.
Gabriel and Abreu will share the prize money of 1 million kroner, equivalent to $60,000 each. As befits one of the world’s most prestigious music awards, it was presented to them in a special ceremony by His Majesty, Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, in Stockholm’s Concert Hall, the setting for the Nobel peace prize.
Peter Gabriel has been a tireless promoter of "world music" founding the WOMAD festival and the Real World record label. Jose Antonio Abreu founded the El Sistema music network which gives hundreds and thousands of children in Venezuela the means to leave poverty.
Previous winners include, Bob Dylan Miriam Makeba, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Ravi Shankar and Gilberto Gil.
Author: Jill Turner
Jill Turner contributes to Songlines Magazine, World Music Central and is on the fRoots critics albums of the year panel. Her radio show GondwanaSound broadcasts on Sheffield Live! 93.2FM to the fourth largest city in the UK and is carried on both Radio Groovalizacion and African Internet Radio.