Chuck Berry and Peter Sellars named as Polar laureates

Chuck Berry (left) and Peter Sellars Berry is a rock and roll pioneer, while Sellars is known for his re-interpretations of classic operas

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US rock and roll legend Chuck Berry and American theatre director Peter Sellars have been named as 2014 Polar Music Prize laureates.

They will be presented with their awards by King Carl XVI of Sweden at a ceremony in Stockholm on 26 August.

The million kronor prize (£82,000) was founded 25 years ago by Stig 'Stikkan' Anderson, the publisher, lyricist and manager of Abba.

The first Polar Music Prize laureate was Sir Paul McCartney.

The aim of the award is to "break down musical boundaries by bringing together people from all the different worlds of music.'

In a career spanning seven decades, pioneer Berry has released a string of classic songs such as Roll Over Beethoven and Johnny B Goode.

According to the award committee: "In the course of three minutes he conjures up an image of the everyday life and dreams of a teenager, often with the focus on cars. Chuck Berry, born in 1926, was the first to drive up onto the highway and announce that we are born to run."

Acclaimed opera, theatre and festival director Sellars is known for his re-interpretations of classic works.

Sellars is working with the English National Opera later this year for the world stage premiere of John Adams's latest work, The Gospel According to the Other Mary.

He is, said the award organisers, "a living definition of what the Polar Music Prize is all about: highlighting the music and presenting it in a new context".

Previous laureates include Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, BB. King, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen.

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