This page was last updated on January 22nd 2001.


News section

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News added 1999-11-28
Trouble at the Polar Prize Foundation.
The managing diractor for the Polar Prize Foundation, since its start in 1990, has resigned. Hélène Hellsten-Adamsson said she quit the job due to the Prize not being well known enough abroard and also that she had got another job offer. She further stated that there is no conflict behind the decision and that she will attend the next prize cermony in May 2000.

The Prize

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Polar Music Prize is a foundation that Stikkan started with 42 of all the millions of SEK he had earned mainly thanks to ABBA. The foundation "belongs" to the Royal Swedish Music Academy. It was to Stikkan what he considered to be his life work. And supposedly the only regret was that it was never (so far) made part of the Nobel Prize. He was until his death chairman of the prize committee, other members included his son in law Tomas Ledin. The prize seems to be in many senses becoming the Nobel Prize of music (as intended), and is also slowly starting to gain respect in Sweden.

The Winners

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  • 1992 Paul McCartney and the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania
  • 1993 Dizzy Gillespie and Witold Lutoslawski
  • 1994 Quincey Jones and Nicolas Harnoncourt
  • 1995 Elton John and Mstislav Rostropovitj
  • 1996 Joni Mitchell and Pierre Boulez
  • 1997 Bruce Springsteen and Eric Ericson
  • 1998 Ray Charles and Ravi Shankar
  • 1999 Stevie Wonder and Iannis Xenakis
  • 2000 Bob Dylan and Isaac Stern
  • 2001 Burt Bacharach and Karlheinz Stockhausen, with a
            special 10th anniversery prize to Robert Moog

The prize is around 2 million SEK. It seems as there is one "rock or pop" and one "classical" each year. The prize is handed over by His Majesty The King Carl XVI Gustaf. The three Baltic states makes an odd winner, but the purpose was to use the prize money to build a copyright organization in each of the countries. Dizzy Gillespie was alive when the prize was announced (it is made public a few months before the ceremony), but tragically died before he could receive it.

Go to The Polar Music Prize site, at


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Fax +46-31 794 9476, e-mail

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