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2001 - Burt Bacharach, Robert Moog and Karlheinz Stockhausen

2000 - Isaac Stern and Bob Dylan

1999 - Iannis Xenakis and Stevie Wonder

1998 - Ravi Shankar and Ray Charles

1997 - Eric Ericson and Bruce Springsteen

1996 - Joni Mitchell and Pierre Boulez

1995 - Mstislav Rostropovitch and Elton John

1994 - Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Quincy Jones

1993 - Witold Lutoslawski and Dizzy Gillespie

1992 - Paul McCartney and The Baltic States

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The Prizewinners of 1997

Eric Ericson and Bruce Springsteen

Photo:Charles Hammarsten

See the video from the prize ceremony

Quotes from the Prize Ceremony:

"Ers majestät, mina Damer och Herrar, jag framför mitt varma tack för ett av detta års Polarpris och jag tar emot den stora hedersbevisningen med personlig stolthet och glädje. Jag känner också att uppmärksamheten riktas mot den gren av musiklivet som ryms i begreppet körsång." - Eric Ericson

"I would like to thank you Your Majesty, Princess Christina, Fru Magnusson, Princess Lilian, Your Excellensies, Stig Anderson, Members of the Royal Academy of Music, Members of The Organisation Committee of the Polar Music Prize for honouring my music tonight. With this award it has been an additional source of joy alongside of Mr Ericson." - Bruce Springsteen


The prize committee's citation of Eric Ericson

The Swedish choral conductor Eric Ericson is awarded the 1997 Polar Music Prize for pioneering achievements as a conductor, teacher, artistic originator and inspirer in Swedish and international choral music.

Way back in 1946, Eric Ericson created the chamber Choir, Sweden's first professional choral group, and for many years thereafter he directed the Swedish Radio Choir and OD, the well-known Uppsala University male voice choir.

In recent decades, Eric Ericson, with an immense repertoire extending from Renaissance madrigals and Bach to the music of our own age, has come to mean a great deal to European and American choral singing. One vital and fruitful aspect of his artistic career has always been his productive and close contacts with many of today's leading composers, and with the passing years he has become one of the foremost ambassadors of Swedish music.

Eric Ericson stands out today as one of the foremost choral conductors of our time, one who has not only achieved a brilliant career as a conductor but has also, though his dedicated teaching, made choral music in Sweden a mass movement, radically advanced the artistic standing of, above all, the unaccompanied choir and inspired a far-reaching development of its expressive potential.

The prize committee's citation of Bruce Springsteen

The American rock singer Bruce Springsteen is awarded the 1997 Polar Music Prize for an outstanding career as singer and stage performer.

His authority in rock music is unshakeable. For two decades now he has been one of the most colourful personalities at the very centre of the genre, and he is an uncompromising steward of the essential qualities of rock: its heavy beat and "groovy" sound - a harsh sometimes crude but at the same time spiritual sound ideal rooted in black rhythm and blues. In his lyrics he focuses on the little man's winding path through life with a certain melancholy and profound compassion.

In a world of music where styles are fluctuating all the time, Bruce Springsteen stands with both feet firmly planted on the ground of rock'n'roll. Although his records have sold in vast quantities, the live concert remains his natural medium.

Bruce Springsteen, with his social pathos, is also a singer of the people, a modern "bard". He stands up straight and hits hard, but he does so with discretion and not without tenderness.

Bruce Springsteen Web Site:

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