“Hip-hop pioneer Grandmaster Flash, violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, and music charity the Playing for Change Foundation have been named recipients of the 2019 Polar music prize,” writes Laura Snapes in Wednesday’s (2/13) Guardian (U.K.). “The Swedish award is considered the music world’s equivalent of the Nobel prize. Grandmaster Flash AKA Joseph Saddler is a founding figure in hip-hop. As a DJ, he developed innovations including the backspin technique and punch phrasing, and popularized scratching…. German violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter began her career in the 1970s, when she was spotted as a teenage prodigy. At age 17, she made her US debut with the New York Philharmonic…. The Playing for Change Foundation is a non-profit created in 2007 [that] has established 15 music programs in Bangladesh, Brazil, Ghana, Mali, Nepal, Rwanda, South Africa, Morocco, Mexico, Argentina and Thailand, with free classes in dance, instruments, languages and musical theory reaching more than 2,000 young people every week…. The Polar laureates each receive 1m Swedish krona [$107,740.99]…. The committee receives nominations from the public and the International Music Council, the Unesco-funded NGO that promotes geographic and musical diversity…. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden will present the 2019 awards [in Stockholm] on 11 June.”

Posted February 14, 2019