Iggy Pop splits prize with Boulez band

Iggy Pop splits prize with Boulez band


norman lebrecht

February 08, 2022

The annual Swedish Polar Music Prize, worth $110,000, was announced this morning.

The two winners are Iggy Pop (pictured) and the Ensemble Intercontemporain, founded by Pierre Boulez and presently led by Matthias Pintscher. He says: ‘I’m beyond excited to be coming to Stockholm in May to receive the Polar Music Prize.’

The Swedes are nothing if not eclectic.




  • Heril Steemøen says:

    And Boulez himself shared his prize with Joni Mitchell. That’s the thing with the Polar Prize, for whatever reason.

    But on the radio this morning they only mentioned Iggy Pop.

  • Ellingtonia says:

    Who wouldn’t give this man a prize when he is performing like this at nearly 70 years of age……………….

  • John Borstlap says:

    It’s the result of egalitarian, ‘democratic’ thinking. Pop, Boulez, Velasquez, Pyramids, Mozart, Bird Song, Toddlers’ Scribbles, Human Digestive Noises, etc. etc. – all on the same level of cultural expression, because we should never hurt the feelings of people or animals doing their best.

    Strangely enough such thinking is never applied on surgeoncy or the tax system. It must have something to do with the vested interests.

    I once spoke with a member of the [redacted] orchestra who claimed there was no difference between Xenakis and Richard Strauss, because both handled sound. Famous TV historian [redacted] claimed that the regular row of columns on Greek temples were reflecting Greek male militarism, since their armies also paraded in rows. Influential ‘philosopher’ Michel Foucault [not redacted because he’s dead] explained that to teach children to write within a circumscribed space to arrive at a regular handwriting, was of the same suppressing force of how soldiers are drilled, to march in perfect regularity. Just a few examples of ‘democratic’ thinking, finally giving voice to the way of ‘thinking’ which in former times were suppressed by the knowing elites.

  • Poppy Igg says:

    Whenever I think of the institutionalized French “avant-garde” ensemble, I think of Iggy rolling around on broken glass shirtless on a stage, to the mellifluous dulcet tones of “I Wanna Be Your Dog”. And vice-versa.

  • Alexander T says:

    Have seen both Iggy Pop and Boulez live.Both were brilliant in their own way.

  • Novagerio says:

    Most of Swedish media didn’t even bother to mention the Intercontemporain. Too hard to spell and pronounce.
    Music is – according to most of Swedish media about “Mello” (the Eurovision Song Contest).
    So much for eclecticism.