Patti, Kronos Win Polar Prize

American string ensemble Kronos Quartet and punk godmother Patti Smith received the prestigious 2011 Polar Music Prize from Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf Aug. 30.

The musicians accepted their awards, the country’s highest musical honor, at a glitzy ceremony in Stockholm. Each award is worth 1 million Swedish kronor ($159,000).

A visibly moved Smith said she was “humbled and inspired” to receive the award. She thanked her family and band members and implored the audience to “turn their hearts and minds and resources” toward famine relief in Africa.

The avant-garde Kronos Quartet is based in San Francisco, formed in 1971 and has worked with Tom Waits among others.

The Polar Music Prize is typically shared each year by a classical and pop artist. It was founded in 1989 by Sig Anderson, the manager of legendary Swedish pop group ABBA.

Previous winners include Pink Floyd, Joni Mitchell, Bjork and Paul McCartney.