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May 03, 2011

Kronos Quartet receives 2011 Avery Fisher Prize and 2011 Polar Music Prize

It was announced today that Kronos has received two internationally prestigious awards: the Avery Fisher Prize (USA), awarded for outstanding achievement and excellence in classical music, and the Polar Music Prize (Sweden), an international music prize which is awarded to individuals, groups or institutions in recognition of exceptional achievements. No other musician or ensemble has ever won both prizes, let alone in a single year.

Kronos will be honored as the 2011 Avery Fisher Prize recipient on June 8 at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. On a marble plaque in Avery Fisher Hall, Kronos Quartet’s name will join the twenty previous Prize recipients, among them Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Yefim Bronfman, Richard Goode, Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Midori, André Watts, and other iconic figures.

The Polar Music Prize laureates were announced today in Stockholm, and the ceremony takes place on August 30, with King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden handing out the awards. Receiving this year’s prize along with Kronos is singer/ songwriter/poet Patti Smith. The Polar Music Prize was founded in 1989 by the late Stig Anderson, publisher, lyricist and manager of the legendary pop group ABBA. Previous Laureates include Björk, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Sir Paul McCartney, and Ravi Shankar, as well as Kronos collaborators Steve Reich, György Ligeti and Sofia Gubaidulina.

Kronos Quartet is part of the Kronos Performing Arts Association, a not-for-profit organization based in San Francisco. Since KPAA’s founding in 1973, the organization has commissioned more than 700 new works and arrangements for string quartet. The proceeds from the two prizes will be used to further the mission of KPAA, including commissioning and mentoring programs.

Learn more about the Avery Fisher Prize and the Polar Music Prize on their websites.


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