A mathematician, a logician, a soloist and an Italian avant-gardist are awarded the Rolf Schock Prizes 2018

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Royal Academy of Fine Arts and the Royal Swedish Academy of Music have awarded this year’s Rolf Schock Prizes to four outstanding individuals. 

The prize amounts to 400,000 Swedish krona per prize area, a total of 1.6 million Swedish krona.

“I am particularly delighted to highlight a prize that so clearly unites science and art, entirely in accordance with Rolf Schock’s will. This year's Laureates demonstrate the breadth of the work of the awarding academies. They have all been incredibly creative and leading in their fields,” says Göran K. Hansson, Chair of the Rolf Schock Foundation and Secretary General of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

The Rolf Schock Prize 2018 is awarded to:

Logic and Philosophy

Saharon Shelah, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel,

“for his outstanding contributions to mathematical logic, in particular to model theory, in which his classification of theories in terms of so-called stability properties has fundamentally transformed the field of research of this discipline.”

Saharon Shelah has made fundamental contributions to mathematical logic, particularly in model theory and set theory. In model theory, Shelah developed classification theory, concerning the classification of first-order theories in terms of properties of their classes of models. The classes of models of so-called stable theories have structural properties that can be characterised in geometrical terms, while the class of models of an “unstable” theory lacks structure. Most of contemporary research in model theory builds on Shelah’s work. Shelah has also made decisive contributions to set theory, including the development of a new variety of the forcing method and remarkable results in cardinal arithmetic, and he has solved deep problems in other areas, such as algebra, algebraic geometry, topology, combinatorics, computer science, and social choice theory.  Shelah has had, and still has, an indisputable and exceptional position in mathematical logic, particularly in model theory. He is almost unbelievably productive, with seven books and more than 1100 articles to date.

More information and contact details are available at www.rolfschockprizes.se

Press contact: Jessica Balksjö Nannini, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, jessica.balksjo@kva.se, +46 (0)70 673 9650.


Ronald Coifman, Yale University, USA, is rewarded with the 2018 Rolf Schock Prize in Mathematics,

“for his fundamental contributions to pure and applied harmonic analysis”.

Ronald Coifman has made outstanding contributions to harmonic analysis. He has proven several important classical results and has recently dedicated his research to applied harmonic analysis and related areas. Along with Yves Meyer, he has played a crucial role in the development of the theory of wavelets, which has important applications in image compression, signal processing and computer vision. He and his collaborators have recently initiated diffusion geometry, bringing the opportunity to create methods for finding structures in large data sets.

More information and contact details are available at www.rolfschockprizes.se.

Press contact: Jessica Balksjö Nannini, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, jessica.balksjo@kva.se, +46 (0)70 673 9650.

The visual arts

The Rolf Schock Prize in the Visual Arts 2018 is awarded to Andrea Branzi,

” for his long and significant involvement in the discussion about cities, architecture and design. As architect, thinker, writer and philosopher, he is one of principal movers behind radical Italian design and how it was formulated after Modernism. Through Archizoom Associati, of which he was one of the co-founders in 1966, he has made a considerable contribution to articulating architecture as critique and theory. The No-Stop City project and concepts such as anti-design continue to play a central role in the context of contemporary architecture and design – today perhaps even more so than when they were originally formulated.”

Andrea Branzi, born in 1938, is an Italian architect, designer, commentator and writer. In 1966 he co-founded the Archizoom Associati studio, with which he three years later created the No-stop city project, a major contributor to the formulation of architecture as critique and theory. No-stop city demonstrates the ultimate consequences of late-capitalism urban development. This was a Superarchitettura, a super-architecture made up of super-production and super-consumption. Together with other Italian groups such as Superstudio, Archizoom Associati began a renewal of Italian design, but also formulated a design for a broader cultural and political context. Known as Radical design or Anti-design, this received its international breakthrough with the exhibition Italy: The New Domestic Landscape at MOMA in 1972. Andrea Branzi has had a key role in design initiatives such as Global Tools, Alchimia and Memphis. Among his most famous furniture designs are Superonda sofa (1966), Mies chair (1968) and the modular Safari sofa (1968), all of them intended to question the rules for how we live. In the 1980s he created Animali Domestici, hybrids of nature and artificiality; since the turn of the millennium Branzi’s designs have developed into personal objects of a more fragmented composition, filled with subtle Yiddish irony.

More information and contact details are available at https://konstakademien.se/press.

Contact: Isabella Nilsson, Permanent Secretary, Royal Academy of Fine Arts, isabella.nilsson@konstakademien.se, +46 (0)8 102 208, +46 (0)70 856 3868

The musical arts

Barbara Hannigan, Canadian soprano and conductor, is awarded the Rolf Schock Prize 2018 in the Musical Arts.

“Hannigan is an extraordinary and innovative performer with a dynamic and intensive approach to the music she performs, often pure virtuoso stage interpretations, in which she often simultaneously assumes both the role of soloist and conductor. Her repertoire covers an impressive field, with great interest in new music. For a number of years she has also run a unique mentoring project, Equilibrium Young Artists, which focuses on young and newly professional musicians around the world”.

More information and contact details are available at www.musikaliskaakademien.se/verksamhet/priserutmarkelserochstipendier/rolfschockpriset.123.html.

Press contact: Fredrik Wetterqvist, Permanent Secretary, The Royal Swedish Academy of Music, +46 708 89 55 84, fredrik.wetterqvist@musikaliskaakademien.se.

About the prize

Rolf Schock, who left a great fortune on his death in 1986, stated in his will that the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences should name one laureate in logics and philosophy and one in mathematics, that the Royal Academy of Fine Arts should name a laureate in one of the visual arts and that the  Royal Swedish Academy of Music should name a laureate in one of the musical arts.

The capital is managed by the Schock Foundation and the prizes are awarded every year. This year’s award ceremony will be held at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts on 15 October 2018. More information will be available at www.kva.se/events.

The prize amounts to 400,000 Swedish krona per prize area, a total of 1.6 million Swedish krona.

More information: www.rolfschockprizes.se

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, founded in 1739, is an independent organization whose overall objective is to promote the sciences and strengthen their influence in society. The Academy takes special responsibility for the natural sciences and mathematics, but endeavours to promote the exchange of ideas between various disciplines.

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