Iggy Pop, Ensemble Intercontemporain win Polar Music Prize

STOCKHOLM (AP) — American rocker Iggy Pop, known as “the godfather of punk”, and Ensemble Intercontemporain, a contemporary music orchestra based in Paris, have won the 2024 Polar Music Prize, a Swedish music award.

The award panel said Tuesday that rock icon Iggy Pop, a singer and songwriter whose real name is James Newell Osterberg, has “created furious rock music by blending together blues and free jazz influences with the roar of the Michigan automotive industry.”

Iggy Pop, 74, is often considered as one of the founding fathers of punk rock with his band The Stooges, established in the late 1960s. The award panel said he paved the way for the emergence of punk and post-punk, and was a role model to bands like the Sex Pistols and the Ramones

Ensemble Intercontemporain was founded in 1976 by the composer Pierre Boulez. The ensemble is focused on contemporary art music and has made itself known for exploring new musical areas and artistic expressions such as dance, theater and technology.

The orchestra made up of 31 soloists was cited by the award panel as “the Stradivarius of modern music and has inspired the greatest composers of our time to create new masterpieces since the 1970s.”

The Polar Music Prize, including a cash prize of 1 million Swedish kronor ($110,000) each, is awarded annually to individuals, groups and institutions in recognition of exceptional music achievements.

It was founded in 1989 by the late Stig Anderson, a Swedish publisher, lyricist and manager of ABBA, who established the record label Polar Music.

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