Afghan institute, Metallica win music's 'Nobel Prize'
STOCKHOLM - AFP
The laureates will each receive one million Swedish kronor (101,000 euros) at a televised gala in Stockholm on June 14 in the presence of King Carl XVI Gustaf.
The Afghan National Institute of Music was honored along with its founder, Ahmad Sarmast, who started the school in 2010 in a rare coeducational initiative in the war-torn country.
Sarmast, who has faced substantial risk in a country where both music and girls' education was banned under the repressive 1996-2001 Taliban regime, said he was "very excited, honoured and privileged" to win the prize.
"We believe that our two recipients, although from very contrasting worlds, exemplify the mission of the Polar Music Prize, and that is to honor musicians and music organizations whose work has made a difference to people's lives," Marie Ledin, managing director of the award, said in a statement.
"Metallica is loved and admired by millions of hard rock fans across the globe," she said.
"At the same time, we feel like we're in our prime with a lot of good years ahead of us," Ulrich said of the band, which released its 10th album, "Hardwired... to Self-Destruct" in late 2016.
The Polar Music Prize was established in 1989 by the late Stig Anderson, best known as the manager of Swedish pop superstars ABBA, and selects two laureates each year.
The prize's stated goal is to "break down musical boundaries by bringing together people from all the different worlds of music." Past laureates have included Sting, Bob Dylan, Bjork, Sonny Rollins and Ravi Shankar.