Sting and acclaimed saxophonist Wayne Shorter, have been unveiled as this year’s Polar Music Prize Laureates.
The 2017 Polar Music Prize gala ceremony takes place at the Stockholm Concert Hall on June 15, where Sting and Shorter will accept their prizes from His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.
“I am honoured to receive the Polar Music Prize and to join past recipients who I have long admired and respected,” said Sting. “I still maintain a childlike curiosity about music, along with a sense that I constantly need to work at it. So to be recognised in this capacity is truly meaningful. I am looking forward to coming to Sweden in June for this special evening.”
Shorter added: “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."
Now in its 26th year, The Polar Music Prize is one of the most coveted accolades in music, recognising two Laureates from different music genres. Previous recipients 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.
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 also stated: “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.”