Paul McCartney has been announced as the winner of what has been called Israeli’s “Nobel Prize.” The Times Of Israel reported McCartney is the recipient of the 2018 Wolf Prize in Music, and should he choose to accept, he would need to travel to the Holy Land to receive the honor. The official statement regarding McCartney’s prize said: “Sir Paul McCartney is one of the greatest songwriters of all time. 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.”
The Wolf Foundation’s President Reuven Rivlin stated at an event saluting the winners at his Jerusalem home: “together with the prize committee, I and many Israelis share the eternal love for the works of Sir Paul McCartney and the Beatles.” Riviln who went on to compare “Macca” to such classical legends as Franz Schubert, Johannes Brahms, and Claude Debussy, among others, went on to say: “there is little doubt that his songs will be sung and savored as long as there are human beings to lift up their voices.”
- According to The Times: “The five awards, in music, agriculture, chemistry, physics, and mathematics, totaling $100,000 in each field, will be divided this year among nine winners from five countries.”
- On September 25th, 2008, Paul McCartney performed in Israel for the first time when he played at Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park. At the time, McCartney told Reuters: “I was approached by different groups and political bodies who asked me not to come here. I refused. I do what I think, and I have many friends who support Israel.”
- While in Israel, McCartney said above all else, he considers himself an agent of peace: “The world knows about the conflicts that have been in that region. And I like to think that if I go to a place, it becomes evident that my message is a peaceful one, and I hope that the idea will spread. So that one is definitely be my message if I’m talking to people — that will be my message. And I’m sure that it’s a message that’s shared by a lot of the audience.”
- During the trip, McCartney visited the West Bank town of Bethlehem, and the Church of the Nativity, which is built over what is believed to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ. While in Bethlehem, he visited the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music.