|Rock icon Patti Smith performs on stage during the auction of the amfAR's Cinema Against AIDS 2010 event in Antibes during the 63rd Cannes Film Festival May 20, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters File Photo)
STOCKHOLM, May 3 (Xinhua) -- The 2011 Polar Music Prize was awarded to American string quartet Kronos Quartet and rocker Patti Smith, the prize committee announced Tuesday.
"For 40 years, the Kronos Quartet has been revolutionizing the potential of the string quartet genre when it comes to both style and content," the prize committee said in a statement.
With two violins, a viola and a cello, the same type of chamber music ensemble can also be used to comment on international politics, interpret avant-garde rock and incorporate music from every corner of the world, it said.
"The Kronos Quartet won the prize not just for their fantastic music, but also for their will of seeking inspiration and cooperation all over the world, they have broadened the way that string can work," Alfons Karabuda, one of the jurors, told Xinhua.
As for Smith, the committee said that "by devoting her life to art in all its forms, Patti Smith has demonstrated how much rock'n'roll there is in poetry and how much poetry there is in rock'n'roll. She has transformed the way an entire generation looks, thinks and dreams."
"She has done something which was almost impossible because her improvisation of combining poetry with the punk music was so new and ground-breaking that it influenced so many others such as U2 and many others," Karabuda said.
Born in Chicago in 1946, Smith has been a poet, composer, singer and artist. Her albums include "Horses," "Gone Again" and others which have been nominated for Grammy.
The Kronos Quartet, based in San Francisco, consists of David Harrington, John Sherba, Hank Dutt and Jeffrey Zeigler.
Dubbed as Nobel Prize in music, the Polar Music Prize was founded in 1989 by the Swedish legend Stig Anderson who was the publisher, lyricist and manager of the famous ABBA band.
The laureates will receive the prize from Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf at Stockholm Concert Hall on Aug. 30.