BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in:  Entertainment: Music
Front Page 
UK Politics 
TV and Radio 
New Media 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Tuesday, 15 May, 2001, 10:40 GMT 11:40 UK
Polar prize for Bacharach
Burt Bacharach with King Carl Gustaf
Grammy and Oscar winner Burt Bacharach (left)
US singer and songwriter Burt Bacharach, German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen and synthesizer pioneer Robert Moog shared a stage on Monday to accept the Polar Music Prize.

The one million kronor (68,435) prize is dubbed Sweden's "music Nobel prize" and was presented by the country's King Carl XVI Gustaf.

"It's an honour to be honoured with these gentlemen", said Bacharach, 72, as he accepted his prize.

Robert Moog
Robert Moog - synthesizer pioneer
Bacharach, whose songs include Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head, I Say A Little Prayer and I'll Never Fall in Love Again was praised by the prize committee as "one of the primary architects of contemporary music".

The singer-songwriter made his debut in the 1950s and has recently enjoyed a surge in popularity thanks to an easy-listening revival - Bacharach's smooth vocals typify "lounge" music.

His productions borrowed from jazz, soul, Brazilian bossa-nova and traditional pop to redefine pop during the 1960s.

Moog was awarded the prize for designing the MiniMoog, "the first compact, easy-to-use synthesizer".

The MiniMoog's biggest break was in 1969, when Walter Carlos had a Grammy-winning hit with Switched-on Bach, popularising electronic music with Moog-made renditions of Johann Sebastian Bach.

Karlheinz Stockhausen and King Carl XVI Gustaf
Stockhausen receives his award from King Carl Gustaf
Pioneering German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen was recognized for a career that, "has been characterized by impeccable integrity and never ceasing creativity," according to the prize committee.

Stockhausen is a modern classical composer who also uses electronic music, his work has been influential in pop and other forms of modern music.

The Polar Prize - which was founded in 1989 to honour exceptional achievements that transcend music genres and break down musical boundaries - is awarded annually.

It is described in Sweden as the "Nobel prize of music" and was established by the late Stikkan Anderson, whose record company released the songs of Swedish supergroup Abba.

Last year's winners were rock music legend Bob Dylan and classical violinist Isaac Stern.

Previous winners include Sir Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John and Ravi Shankar.

See also:

01 Jun 00 | Entertainment
Bacharach and Bowie to play Glastonbury
30 Jun 00 | Entertainment
Ronan and Eurythmics share awards
15 Jan 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Sweden
13 May 01 | Music
The rise and rise of Lounge
15 Mar 00 | UK
Muzak, sweet music
02 Jan 99 | New Music Releases
Reasons to be cheerful?
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Music stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Music stories