Pat Metheny has been elected into the prestigious Royal Swedish Academy of Music. The news comes just months after the guitarist, composer and bandleader received the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Award, which is the United States' highest national award for a jazz artist.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Music, founded in 1771 by King Gustav III, is one of the Royal Academies that act to promote culture, arts and science in Sweden. Its purpose is to promote artistic and musical ventures by following developments within Swedish and international music circles, taking initiatives to advance musical culture as well as supporting education, research and artistic development in music's various fields.
The official statement from the voting board of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music reads: "The American guitarist and composer Pat Metheny is one of the world's most significant living jazz musicians. He has an unmistakable sound and is an improviser with what appears to be an infinite flow of ideas. He has collaborated with most of the biggest names in the jazz, but also with composers and artists like Terry Riley, Steve Reich, Joni Mitchell and David Bowie. His discography is extensive. Metheny has driven many types of projects in the course of his career, both traditionally and experimentally. some with a wide, inclusive appeal, others with a narrower, more searching side. Pat Metheny is also a diligent writer in all topics that appeal to music."
Metheny will join a group of renowned and influential musicians and composers that have been elected into the Royal Swedish Academy of Music. The list includes Marilyn Mazur, Roger Parker, Wolfgang Rihm, Arvo Pärt, Lars-Ulrik Mortensen and Olav Anton Thommessen, among others.