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  • Tuesday, September 6, 2011
    Kronos Quartet's Polar Music Prize Acceptance Speech, Photos
    Patrik Österberg / All Over Press Sweden

    Kronos Quartet received the Polar Music Prize in a ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall last week. King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden handed out the awards to Kronos and their fellow laureate, Patti Smith. The Polar Music Prize, an international music prize founded by the late Stig Anderson and awarded to individuals, groups, or institutions in recognition of exceptional achievements.

    “For almost 40 years," reads the Polar Music Prize citation, presented at the ceremony by frequent Kronos Quartet collaborator Wu Man, "the Kronos Quartet has been revolutionizing the potential of the string quartet genre when it comes to both style and content. The same type of chamber music ensemble-two violins, a viola and a cello-for which Mozart and Beethoven wrote can also be used to comment on international politics, interpret avant-garde rock and incorporate music from every corner of the world.”

    Below is the text for Kronos Quartet's acceptance speech, given at the ceremony by the group's founder, artistic director, and violinist David Harrington. For more photos from the event, visit nonesuch.com/media.

    Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses and Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen:

    Tonight is thrilling for Kronos!

    We are incredibly honored to receive the Polar Music Prize along with Patti Smith. We are grateful to the vision of Stig Anderson and the culture of Sweden.

    First and foremost, we wish to thank our families for their support through lean times and lonely nights and our manager, Janet Cowperthwaite, who has guided Kronos for the last 30 years with grace and honesty. Thanks, Janet.

    Since 1973 our goals have been simple: find the most wonderful music and play it as well as possible.

    We have been fortunate to work with many fantastic composers and guest performers. We value all of our dedicated teachers, our staff and board in San Francisco, Nonesuch Records, and our adventurous audiences—an incredible array of music-lovers.

    Music is one of humanity's most essential resources—the “greenest” of substances—here one moment, a memory the next.

    The greatest piece has yet to be written, the most perfect note has yet to be played. Our challenges are clear: Where is the next source of wonder? How can we make the world safer for our grandkids? Our work will always be an attempt to express what it means to be alive now in the world we all share.

    Thank you.

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Kronos Quartet's Polar Music Prize Acceptance Speech, Photos

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on September 6, 2011 - 1:00pm
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Tuesday, September 6, 2011 - 14:00
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Kronos Quartet received the Polar Music Prize in a ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall last week, along with their fellow laureate, Patti Smith. "Music is one of humanity's most essential resources—the 'greenest' of substances—here one moment, a memory the next," said Kronos artistic director David Harrington in the group's acceptance speech. "The greatest piece has yet to be written, the most perfect note has yet to be played." Read the complete text of the speech and see several photos from the ceremony here.

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Kronos Quartet received the Polar Music Prize in a ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall last week. King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden handed out the awards to Kronos and their fellow laureate, Patti Smith. The Polar Music Prize, an international music prize founded by the late Stig Anderson and awarded to individuals, groups, or institutions in recognition of exceptional achievements.

“For almost 40 years," reads the Polar Music Prize citation, presented at the ceremony by frequent Kronos Quartet collaborator Wu Man, "the Kronos Quartet has been revolutionizing the potential of the string quartet genre when it comes to both style and content. The same type of chamber music ensemble-two violins, a viola and a cello-for which Mozart and Beethoven wrote can also be used to comment on international politics, interpret avant-garde rock and incorporate music from every corner of the world.”

Below is the text for Kronos Quartet's acceptance speech, given at the ceremony by the group's founder, artistic director, and violinist David Harrington. For more photos from the event, visit nonesuch.com/media.

Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses and Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen:

Tonight is thrilling for Kronos!

We are incredibly honored to receive the Polar Music Prize along with Patti Smith. We are grateful to the vision of Stig Anderson and the culture of Sweden.

First and foremost, we wish to thank our families for their support through lean times and lonely nights and our manager, Janet Cowperthwaite, who has guided Kronos for the last 30 years with grace and honesty. Thanks, Janet.

Since 1973 our goals have been simple: find the most wonderful music and play it as well as possible.

We have been fortunate to work with many fantastic composers and guest performers. We value all of our dedicated teachers, our staff and board in San Francisco, Nonesuch Records, and our adventurous audiences—an incredible array of music-lovers.

Music is one of humanity's most essential resources—the “greenest” of substances—here one moment, a memory the next.

The greatest piece has yet to be written, the most perfect note has yet to be played. Our challenges are clear: Where is the next source of wonder? How can we make the world safer for our grandkids? Our work will always be an attempt to express what it means to be alive now in the world we all share.

Thank you.

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Kronos Quartet Polar Music Prize: ceremony

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