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Singer Youssou N'Dour And Composer Kaija Saariaho Win Sweden's Polar Prize

posted 9 May 2013, 04:03 by Mpelembe   [ updated 9 May 2013, 04:03 ]

Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour and Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho win the 2013 Polar Music Prize.

 (POLAR MUSICPRIZE) - Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour and Finnish composer Kaija Saariahowere announced as the winners of this year's Polar Music Prize, on of Sweden's top music award.

N'dour and Saariaho will each receive one million Swedish Krona (153,200 United States dollars) at a royal awards ceremony in the Swedish capital in August.

The annual prize - founded by the late Stig "Stikkan" Anderson, who was the publisher, lyricist and manager of ABBA - awards two laureates in order to "celebrate music in all its various forms".

The Polar Music Prize award committee said N'Dour was not just a singer, but a storyteller, poet, singer of praise, entertainer and verbal historian.

In its citation it said that he had "worked to reduce animosities between his own religion, Islam, and other religions. His voice encompasses an entire continent's history and future, blood and love, dreams and power."

Among his best known work is the song "7 Seconds" which he performed withNeneh Cherry.

N'Dour said he would attend the ceremony in Stockholm on August 27.

"I'm very honoured to receive the Polar Music Prize. I'm very pleased to join a long list of great musicians and I'm looking forward to the ceremony and concert in August. Thank you very much for everyone in Sweden and see you in Stockholm. Thanks," he said.

Saariaho, who has written chamber music, orchestral works and operas, was awarded the prize for her way of combining acoustic instruments with electronics and computers.

"Kaija Saariaho is a modern maestro who opens up our ears and causes their anvils and stirrups to fall in love" the committee said in its citation.

Saariaho said she was proud to have been awarded the prize.

"When I heard about the news that I had received the Polar Music Prize I was really glad and also proud for my music because some fantastic musicians have received the prize before me," she said.

The Polar Music Prize was founded in 1989 by Anderson and the name stems from Anderson's record label, Polar Music.

Previous winners include Sir Paul McCartney, Mstislav Rostropovich, Sir Elton JohnJoni MitchellRay CharlesBurt BacharachKarlheinz Stockhausen and Pink Floyd.

Last year's winners were American musician Paul Simon and cellist Yo-Yo Ma.