The Japan Art Association in Tokyo presented Arvo Pärt with the prestigious Praemium Imperiale cultural award on 15 October. The award is considered equal to the Nobel Prize in the field of culture, and was presented to Maestro Pärt by the patron of the association, Prince Hitachi.
The Imperiale prize has been presented since 1989 by the Japanese imperial family through the Japan Art Association. Five laureates are selected in the fields of painting, sculpture, architecture, music and theatre/film, based on their remarkable achievements in developing their field at an international level and the contributions they have made to enrich society worldwide.
During the award ceremony, held at the Memorial Hall of the Meiji complex, Arvo Pärt expressed his gratitude.
“If a man is to be honoured, it’s not an easy task. First, the honour requires sobriety. Indeed, our head must not spin. The one being honoured will be forever responsible for this gift. It can be said that this will be a challenge for the rest of his or her life – like a “call to order,” Pärt said in his speech.
Photos courtesy of MuusikaElu/Kristel Üksvärav.