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Sonny Rollins and Steve Reich Honored With Swedish Award

The 2007 Polar Music Prize, an international award founded in 1989 by ABBA’s publisher-lyricist-manager Stig Anderson and currently regulated by the Royal Swedish Academy of Music, is being granted this year to jazz legend Sonny Rollins and iconoclastic composer Steve Reich. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden will present the award-which comes with a cash prize of one million Swedish Crowns (equal to roughly $140,000 US)-to the musicians at a gala ceremony scheduled to take place on May 21st.

Rollins’ latest album, Sonny, Please, was released in 2006 by his label, Doxy. During his career as an alto saxophonist, Rollins has played with such luminaries as Thelonius Monk and John Coltrane. In 2001, Rollins was awarded a Grammy for his lifetime achievement in music. Steve Reich is best known for his minimalist approach to composition. His latest album, Phases, was released in 2006 by Nonesuch.

Past winners of the Polar Music Prize include Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Jones, Ray Charles and Keith Jarrett.

Originally Published