American heavy metal band Metallica, whose drummer is Dane Lars Ulrich, will be awarded Sweden's Polar Music Prize this year, often called Music's Nobel Prize. The award includes a monetary prize, which they are planning on donating to their own charitable organisation All Within My Hands.
The Polar Music Prize was founded in 1989 by the late Stig "Stikkan" Anderson, a true legend in the history of Swedish popular music.
The institute, which teaches both Afghan and Western music, helped generate the country's first all-female orchestra which performed previous year at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Metallica is one of the most influential bands in heavy metal, helping bring the angry and aggressive music to the mainstream and preserving an avid fan base for decades.
Of their decision to bestow the prize on the rock band, the Polar Music Prize judges explained: "Not since Wagner's emotional turmoil and Tchaikovsky's cannons has anyone created music that is so physical and furious, and yet still so accessible".
At the same time, the Afghanistan National Institute Of Music and its founder Dr Ahmad Sarmast will receive the Polar Prize for classical music.
The two laureates will each receive 1 million Swedish kronor ($125,000) at a gala in the Swedish capital, Stockholm, on June 14 in the presence of King Carl XVI Gustaf. "Through virtuoso ensemble playing and their use of extremely accelerated tempos, Metallica have taken rock music to places it had never been before". "The strength of the band's uncompromising albums has helped millions of listeners to transform their sense of alienation into a superpower".
Between 1996 and 2001 music was completely banned in the country but now the institute provides a learning environment focusing on supporting the most disadvantaged children in Afghanistan - orphans, street-working vendors and girls. Nominees are selected by a prize committee made up of musicians and important individuals in the music industry.