This year’s Rolf Schock Laureates are the pianist Víkingur Ólafsson, philosopher David Kaplan, mathematician Jonathan Pila and architect Rem Koolhaas. The Rolf Schock Prizes are awarded every other year and span areas as varied as science, the visual arts and music. The four laureates will share 2 million Swedish kronor.
Rolf Schock was a vibrant person who, throughout his life, was interested in logic and philosophy, as well as the visual arts and music. On his death, he bequeathed his money to a foundation which, since then, has awarded the Rolf Schock Prizes. The laureates are selected by three Swedish academies: the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts and the Royal Swedish Academy of Music.
The Schock Prizes are unusual because they recognise people who work in the sciences, as well as practitioners of the visual arts and music. People such as Rolf Schock are fascinating, individuals who have the breadth and ability to see the interrelationships between such apparently different areas. We are very proud of this year’s laureates, who have been proposed by the three different academies, says Hans Ellegren, Secretary General of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and chair of the Schock Foundation.
The 2022 Rolf Schock Prize in Musical Arts is awarded to the Icelandic pianist Víkingur Ólafsson “for his pioneering and successful work in developing and strengthening classical music. Ólafsson is one of the most creative and innovative musicians of our time. With each piece of music, he creates a new world, conveying both depth and brilliance, leaving a unique impression on the listener.”
I am deeply touched to be among the recipients of the Rolf Schock Prizes 2022. Just like it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a whole society to raise an artist and I am indebted to more people than I can mention here. But I would like to mention one, Rolf Schock, who made it possible for different minds of the arts and sciences to unite in celebration of creativity and curiosity. I am honoured to join a list of past winners that includes many people of different fields whom I greatly admire and look up to, says Víkingur Ólafsson.
Icelandic pianist, Víkingur Ólafsson, was born on February 14, 1984. He studied at the Juilliard School in New York under Jerome Lowenthal and Robert MacDonald and also took lessons with Ann Schein.
Ólafsson has been awarded many prestigious prizes for his recordings, including BBC Music Magazine’s Recording of the Year, and has collaborated with composers such as Philip Glass and Daníel Bjarnason. He has performed with leading orchestras, including the Los Angeles Philharmonics and Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and appeared as Artist in Residence at Konzerthaus Berlin among others.
As a host in television and radio, as well as his creative collaborations with artists in other genres, such as Björk, Ólafsson has made an impact with his music that goes beyond the ordinary, successfully bringing classical music to wider audiences.
About the prize
On his death in 1986, Rolf Schock left a significant fortune and, in his will, he donated a large sum of money to allow a prize to be awarded in his name. His wish was that the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences to propose laureates in logics and philosophy, as well as in mathematics, that the Royal Academy of Fine Arts would propose laureates in one of the visual arts and the Royal Swedish Academy of Music in one of the musical arts. His fortune is managed by the Schock Foundation, which formally decides the laureates. This year’s prize ceremony will be held 24 October 2022 in the auditorium of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm.