Kronos Quartet, Patti Smith awarded Swedish prize

STOCKHOLM (AP) — American string quartet Kronos Quartet and rocker Patti Smith have won the 2011 Polar Music Prize, the prize committee announced Tuesday.

The musicians will be invited to Stockholm later this year to accept the prize of 1 million kronor ($166,000).

The Polar Music Prize is Sweden’s most prestigious music award and is typically shared by a pop artist and a classical musician. It was founded by Stig Anderson, manager of Swedish pop group ABBA, in 1989.

The prize committee said in a statement that “by devoting her life to art in all its forms, Patti Smith has demonstrated how much rock ’n’ roll there is in poetry and how much poetry there is in rock ’n’ roll.”

The Chicago-born Smith, 64, “has transformed the way an entire generation looks, thinks, and dreams,” the committee said.

The Kronos Quartet, which is based in San Francisco, was praised for incorporating avant-garde rock and music from a variety of sources worldwide.

“For almost 40 years the Kronos Quartet has been revolutionizing the potential of the string quartet genre when it comes to both style and content,” the committee said.

Last year’s Polar Music Prize was shared by Italian composer Ennio Morricone and Icelandic singer Bjork.

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