STOCKHOLM May 8 American rock 'n roll pioneer
Chuck Berry has won Sweden's $154,000 Polar music prize -
awarded in the past to Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan and violinist
Yo-Yo Ma - for defining the parameters of rock music.
The award committee said groups like the Rolling Stones, the
Beatles and many others began to learn their craft by playing
Berry's songs. "Every riff and solo played by rock guitarists
over the last 60 years contains DNA that can be traced right
back to Chuck Berry," it said in a statement.
Among Berry's classic guitar-propelled numbers are "Roll
Over Beethoven", "Johnny B Goode" and "Maybellene".
Berry, now 87 but still performing, shares the prize with
opera- and theater director Peter Sellars, who was honoured for
highlighting classical music and presenting it in a new context.
"Peter Sellars shows us that classical music is not about
dusty sheet music and metronomic precision," the award committee
Both recipients get 1 million Swedish crowns ($154,000) and
will receive the prize from Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf at an
award ceremony in August.
The Polar Prize was founded in 1989 by Stig Anderson,
publisher, lyricist and manager of ABBA.
($1 = 6.4942 Swedish Crowns)
(Reporting by Johan Ahlander; Editing by Mark Heinrich)