Polar Music Prize ceremony is on 15 June in Stockholm, Sweden in the presence of the Swedish Royal Family

Stockholm, Tuesday 7 February: Sting, the internationally renowned singer-songwriter and composer, and Wayne Shorter, the globally revered saxophonist and composer, have been announced today as the 2017 Polar Music Prize Laureates. Both Sting and Shorter will accept their prizes from His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden at a gala ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall on 15 June.

Sting said: “I am honored to receive the Polar Music Prize and to join past recipients who I have long admired and respected. I still maintain a childlike curiosity about music, along with a sense that I constantly need to work at it. So to be recognized in this way is truly meaningful. I am looking forward to coming to Sweden in June for this special evening.”

Wayne Shorter said: “I am deeply honoured to be awarded the 2017 Polar Music Prize and I’m looking forward to accepting it in Sweden, a country that has produced some great musicians and composers who have inspired the world. It’s another great adventure for me, during a life where I’ve always chosen the trail less travelled because it always takes you to more interesting discoveries."

Marie Ledin, managing director of the Polar Music Prize, said: “In Sting and Wayne Shorter we have two Laureates whose music continues to move, enthrall and influence millions of music fans around the world. Both are true music legends and embody the spirit of the Polar Music Prize. We are delighted that Sting and Wayne Shorter are our 2017 Laureates and we look forward to welcoming them to Stockholm for the ceremony in June.”

The Polar Music Award Committee said this in their award citations: “Sting has never sat back and rested on his laurels, he has put down his anchor in more musical harbours than perhaps any other artist of his generation. As a composer Sting has combined classical pop with virtuoso musicianship and an openness to all genres and sounds from around the world. Sting is a true citizen of the world, who has also been indefatigable in using his position as an arena-filling artist to promote human rights.”

“Wayne Shorter has aptly described his work as “drilling for wisdom”. With his soprano and tenor saxophones he is an explorer. Over the course of an extraordinary career he has constantly sought out untravelled paths. Wayne Shorter has worked in epoch-making groups such as Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, Miles Davis’s Second Great Quintet and Weather Report.”

The Polar Music Prize, now in its 26 year, is considered the most prestigious accolade in music, recognising two Laureates from different music genres. Such is the honour that artists feel when being awarded the prize that even Bob Dylan, the 2000 Laureate, attended the ceremony to received his prize from the King. The List of Polar Music Prize Laureates reads like the ultimate musicians hall of fame, which is what Stig Anderson, its founder, intended. They include: Paul McCartney, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Charles, Burt Bacharach, Joni Mitchell, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Cecilia Bartoli, Youssou N’Dour, B.B. King, Mstislav Rostropovich and Renée Fleming.

The Polar Talks, a day of TED-like talks takes place on 14 June in Stockholm.


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