Paul McCartney Wins Israel’s Prestigious Wolf Prize

Paul McCartney (right) performs at the White House in 2010. Credit: White House photo by Pete Souza.

Famed singer-songwriter and former Beatles bass guitarist Paul McCartney was announced as one of this year’s nine recipients of Israel’s prestigious Wolf Prize.

In announcing the winners, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said that “together with the prize committee, I and many Israelis share the eternal love for the works of Sir Paul McCartney and the Beatles.”

The five awards, which total $500,000, are given out in a music, agriculture, chemistry, physics and mathematics. This year’s prize will be divided among nine winners from five countries at a special ceremony to be held in the Knesset at the end of May. McCartney is expected to attend.

“Sir Paul McCartney is one of the greatest songwriters of all time,” the Wolf Foundation said in a statement. “His versatility underlies an extraordinary wingspan, from the most physical rock to melodies of haunting and heartbreaking intimacy. His lyrics have an equally broad range, from the naive and the charming to the poignant and even desperate. He has touched the hearts of the entire world, both as a Beatle and in his subsequent bands.”

In addition to McCartney, the other winners are conductor Adam Fischer in music; Prof. Gene Robinson in agriculture for genomics revolution in organismal and population biology of the honey bee; Prof. Omar Yaghi for pioneering reticular chemistry via metal-organic frameworks and covalent organic framework in chemistry; Prof. Makoto Fujita for conceiving metal-directed assembly principles leading to large highly porous complexes in chemistry; Profs. Charles Bennett and Giles Brassard in physics for founding and advancing the fields of quantum cryptography and teleportation; and Profs. Alexander Beilinson and Vladimir Drinfeld, both from the University of Chicago, for their work in algebraic geometry, representation theory and mathematical physics.


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