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Last Updated: Monday, 7 November 2005, 16:14 GMT
Zeppelin share Polar Music Prize
Robert Plant
Robert Plant made up a quarter of Led Zeppelin
UK rock band Led Zeppelin and Russian conductor Valery Gergiev were named winners of the Polar Music Prize.

The awards are likened to the Nobel Prize, with winners receiving one million kroner (70,523) from the Royal Swedish Academy of Music.

The academy said Led Zeppelin were "one of the great pioneers of rock".

Gergiev was cited "for the way his unique electrifying musical skills have deepened and renewed our relationship with the grand tradition".

The Academy also said "he has managed to develop and amplify the importance of artistic music in these modern changing times".

As artistic and general director of the Mariinsky Theatre, he has dedicated 15 years striving to make it among the foremost opera companies in the world.

Valery Gergiev
Valery Gergiev is artistic director of the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg

Led Zeppelin split in 1980 following the death of drummer John Bonham, reuniting briefly for the Live Aid concert in 1985.

The surviving members - Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones - continue to perform.

The Polar Prize was founded by Stig Anderson, the former manager of Swedish pop group Abba.

Previous winners have included Sir Paul McCartney, violinist Isaac Stern and music producer Quincy Jones.

The prize will be awarded by Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf at a ceremony on 22 May.

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