An architect, pianist, philosopher and mathematician are the recipients of this year’s Rolf Schock Prizes

This year’s Rolf Schock Laureates are the philosopher David Kaplan, mathematician Jonathan Pila, architect Rem Koolhaas, and pianist Víkingur Ólafsson. 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.

Logic and philosophy

The 2022 Rolf Schock Prize in Logic and Philosophy 2022 is awarded to David Kaplan, University of California, Los Angeles, USA

“for his contributions to the understanding of the role played by the extra-linguistic context for the semantics of natural language, for the logic of natural language sentences, and for the nature of belief.”

David Kaplan is the Hans Reichenbach Professor of Scientific Philosophy at the University of California, Los Angeles, USA. Kaplan has made ground-breaking contributions to the understanding of the semantics of indexical expressions and their role in natural language. They include pronouns such as “I” and “him”, demonstratives such as “that girl”, and temporal adverbs like “yesterday”. The meaning of such expressions partly depends on the context in which they are used. To describe their role, Kaplan extended a framework of modern logic that is called possible-worlds semantics.

Its standard versions have two semantic levels, but Kaplan showed that indexicals require a third, intermediate level. The contents of speakers´ thoughts belong at this level. He also showed that this level has its own logic, which he chose to call the Logic of Demonstratives, and he developed the model theory – the formal semantic theory – for this logic.

Press Contact: Eva Nevelius, Press Secretary at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
+46-70-878 67 63


The 2022 Rolf Schock Prize in Mathematics is awarded to Jonathan S. Pila, University of Oxford, UK

for his groundbreaking work on André-Oort’s conjecture”.

 Jonathan Pila is an Australian mathematician at the University of Oxford. He completed his Bachelor’s degree in Melbourne and then his PhD at Stanford in 1988. He then held positions at Columbia, McGill, Bristol and (as a visiting scholar) at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton before taking an extended break from the world of mathematics to work in his family’s business.

He is mainly active in Diophantine geometry, which is a branch of number theory that studies Diophantine equations using algebraic geometry. Pila has decisively enriched this field by introducing methods based on model theory in mathematical logic. Using these methods, together with Zannier, he provided a completely new proof of the Manin-Mumford conjecture. He has subsequently, partly in collaboration with Tsimerman, made important contributions to the even more demanding André-Oort conjecture.

Jonathan Pila has received several prestigious awards, such as the Clay Research award and the Senior Whitehead Prize from the London Mathematical Society.

Press Contact: Eva Nevelius, Press Secretary at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
+46-70-878 67 63

Visual arts

The 2022 Rolf Schock Prize in Visual Arts is awarded to Rem Koolhaas, a Dutch Architect

“for his long commitment and unique breadth as a theoretician and polemicist on the subject of the relationship of architecture and urbanism to, and their possibilities in, a global political context. The prize is specifically awarded for Koolhaas’ ability to combine a theoretical and architectural practice in which each designed building, of a high and individual quality, expresses an overarching idea in terms of urban development, culture and politics.”

Rem Koolhaas, who was born in 1944, is a Dutch architect, theoretician, polemicist and provocateur. Since the early 1970s, he has occupied a central position in architecture and urban planning, and seemingly tirelessly produced works and writing that provide social commentary. He began his career as a journalist and script writer, which has influenced his architecture in which each project, each building, is an expression of a larger urbanistic cultural and political context.

Rem Koolhaas’ most significant works include KunstHal Rotterdam, 1993, the widely appreciated Seattle Public Library from 2004, and his often criticised CCTV headquarters in Beijing, completed in 2012. In 1975, Koolhaas co-founded the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) with Madelon Vriesendorp, Elia Zenghelis and Zoe Zenghelis.

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Press Contact: Therese Sheats, Communications Manager
+46-70-224 01 47

Musical arts

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.

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.

Contact: Fredrik Wetterqvist, Permanent secretary
+46-70-889 55 84

FACTS 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 would 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.

Read more about the Rolf Schock Prizes and former Laureates