Award Ceremony takes place on June 16 in Stockholm in the presence of the Swedish Royal Family
NEW YORK, NY – 10 Feb, 2016 – The Polar Music Prize, the world’s most prestigious music accolade, in this its 25th year, has announced that Max Martin, Grammy-Award winning and globally acclaimed songwriter, and Cecilia Bartoli, leading mezzo-soprano singer, are the richly deserving 2016 Laureates. Both Laureates will attend the gala ceremony and receive their Prizes from King Carl XVI on June 16 in Stockholm’s Concert Hall.
Marie Ledin, Managing Director of the Polar Music Prize, said: “Max Martin and Cecilia Bartoli have both contributed an incredible amount to music in their respective fields. They embody what the Prize represents; excellence in the world of music. It is an honour to have them as our 2016 Laureates, and I look forward to welcoming them to the ceremony in June for what marks the 25th year of the Polar Music Prize.”
Max Martin, from Stockholm, Sweden, first rose to prominence in the mid-nineties writing a string of hits for artists including Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys and Justin Timberlake. He has co-written over 20 Billboard Hot 100 number-one hits, including Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off’, The Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face”, Katy Perry’s “I Kissed A Girl” and Pink’s “So What”. Max Martin has achieved over the last 20 years what no other songwriter has ever come close to. As a world leader in his field, Max Martin has the third-most Number One singles in the Billboard Hot 100chart, behind only Paul McCartney and John Lennon.
Max Martin said: “If you can somehow influence popular culture, shape it in some way, when something becomes bigger than just a song, that’s the greatest thing for me…this is what I love about music. You can reach so many people.” On being awarded with the Polar Music Prize, Max Martin added: “Thank you very much. This is a great honour. See you in Stockholm in June!”
Ellie Goulding was among the first to send her congratulations to Max Martin on a “very well deserved Polar Music Award”, while Britney Spears said: “I think you’re a genius, it’s such an honour to work with you… you’ve been a part of my career from the beginning.” Justin Timberlake also congratulated Max, saying: “… no one deserves it more. You are a master.” Katy Perry talked about the “wonderful back and forth” of the working process with Max, and how he “sets the scene for it to be really creative”, and Pink said: “you blow my mind and I’m really proud of you.”
Cecilia Bartoli is the most successful mezzo singer in the world. Few vocalists can boast a career as glittering as Bartoli; renowned for her career-long relationship with the music of Mozart, Cecilia Bartoli, from Rome, Italy, is one of his finest interpreters. Her solo releases have achieved enormous success with extraordinary, mutli-million selling albums, making Cecilia Bartoli one of the world’s best-selling artists in the field of classical music.
Cecilia Bartoli said: “What a fantastic surprise, I’m so happy to be awarded the unique Polar Music Prize 2016. I feel deeply honoured because this amazing prize is all about a passion for good music without boundaries.”
The Polar Music Prize, also referred to as the “Nobel Prize for music,” is an international recognition of excellence in the world of music. The first Laureates in 1992 were Paul McCartney and the Baltic States and the most recent, was percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie and singer Emmylou Harris. The roll call of former Laureates reads like a who’s who of modern classical music: Dizzy Gillespie, Patti Smith, Bob Dylan, Ravi Shankar, Renee Fleming, Ray Charles, Youssou N’dour, Mstislav Rostropovich and Kronos Quartet.
The Prize was founded by Stig “Stikkan” Anderson, the publisher, lyricist and manager of ABBA, to honour “significant achievements in music and/or music activity and to break down musical boundaries.” In 2016, The Polar Music Prize celebrates its 25th year.
The board of the Stig Anderson Music Award Foundation includes representatives from the Stig Anderson family, SKAP (The Swedish Society of Songwriters, Composers and Authors) and STIM (The Swedish Performing Rights Society). The task of scrutinising nominations submitted and selecting the Laureates is undertaken by an Award Committee comprising of experienced members of the music industry, representatives from the Anderson family, musicians, and previous Laureates. Laureates each receive a specially designed trophy and cash prize of $118,353 (1 million Swedish Krona).
For further information on the Polar Music Prize please visit www.polarmusicprize.org
To download announcement video and photos:
A Spotify playlist of Max Martin artists is available here:
A Spotify playlist for Cecilia Bartoli available here:
Max Martin citation:
The Polar Music Prize 2016 is awarded to songwriter Martin Sandberg from Stockholm, Sweden, who writes under the name Max Martin. Melodies are like time capsules. Melodies define their time and are spread from person to person, across borders and across generations. In the last 20 years, no composer in the world has written melodies as sustainable or as widespread as those of Max Martin. Right now, at this very moment, someone, somewhere in the world will be singing a hit song written and produced by Max Martin. With his ear for song melodies, his musical precision and craftsmanship, he has refined and developed the world’s popular music.
Cecilia Bartoli citation:
The Polar Music Prize 2016 is awarded to the mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli from Rome, Italy. With a vocal range of three octaves and a unique ability to live a role with fullness of expression, Cecilia Bartoli has developed song as an art form. Cecilia Bartoli has spellbound audiences in the world’s great opera houses, but is not content with the well-known repertoire. She has also dug deeply into the history of music and presented long-lost music from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries that is completely new to today’s audiences. Cecilia Bartoli adds new chapters to the history of music, builds bridges between centuries and deepens our understanding of Europe’s cultural heritage. Cecilia Bartoli shows us that raised voices can change the world.
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