Patti Smith to sing at Nobel prize banquet in Bob Dylan's absence

Patti Smith

Patti Smith will perform one of Bob Dylan’s best-known tracks at the Nobel prize banquet in his absence, and a speech written by the Nobel literature laureate will be read out on his behalf.

Dylan was named the winner of this year’s Nobel prize for literature but, after a long period of silence about his thoughts on the accolade, last month confirmed he would not attend the ceremony.

Instead, the Swedish Academy has said Smith will be attending in his place to perform a version of his 1963 track A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall, specially arranged for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra by Swedish conductor Hans Ek.

Bob Dylan wins Nobel prize in literature

They said Dylan had also sent them his Nobel address, which will be read out by academy member Horace Engdahl at the ceremony in Stockholm on Saturday.

Dylan is the first songwriter to receive the award. It took two weeks for him to return the academy’s phonecalls or publicly acknowledge the award, which comes with prize money of $870,000 (£734,000), leading to one member calling him “impolite and arrogant”.

In a letter to the academy in November, Dylan, 75, said he had been left “speechless” by the honour but that other commitments had made it “unfortunately impossible” for him to attend the ceremony himself.

The Swedish Academy said it was unusual for Nobel laureates not to attend the ceremony and read out their own Nobel addresses but said it respected Dylan’s decision.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Hannah Ellis-Petersen, for The Guardian on Monday 5th December 2016 15.56 Europe/London

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