THE PRAEMIUM IMPERIALE AWARDS
The Announcement of the 2007 Awards
On Thursday, September 20, the names of the new Praemium Imperiale Laureates will be announced in Paris as well as in New York, Berlin, Rome, London, Paris, and Tokyo.
The Praemium Imperiale is awarded by the Japan Art Association, and is the world's largest and most prestigious arts prize. Now in its 19th year, the Praemium Imperiale has grown to become a powerful voice for the importance of the arts in today’s world. It gives international recognition to the arts －much in the same way as the Nobel Prizes do in the Sciences. The Praemium Imperiale is awarded in the five disciplines of Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, Music and Theatre/film. Artists are recognized for their achievements, for the impact they have had internationally on the arts, and for their role in enriching the global community. The five laureates each receive an honorarium of 15 million yen (c. $125,000), and a diploma and medal presented to them by Prince Hitachi, the Japanese Emperor’s younger brother, and honorary patron of the Japan Art Association, in an awards ceremony in Tokyo.
The awards ceremony will take place in Tokyo on October 16th.
Last year, the awards went to Yayoi Kusama (painting), Christian Boltanski (sculpture), Frei Otto(architecture), Steve Reich (music) and Maya Plisetskaya (theatre/film). Laureates awarded previously include Claudio Abbado, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Norman Foster, Anselm Kiefer, Rem Koolhaas, Akira Kurosawa, Robert Rauschenberg, Bridget Riley, Sigmar Polke, , and Jean-Luc Godard, .
International Advisors to the Japan Art Association chair nomination committees and propose candidates for the annual awards. Japan Art Association selection committees make final selections. International Advisors include several prominent statesmen and business leaders: Raymond Barre, Lamberto Dini, Otto Graf Lambsdorff, William H. Luers, Yasuhiro Nakasone. Honorary Advisors are Jacques Chirac, David Rockefeller, David Rockefeller, Jr., Helmut Schmidt and Richard von Weizsäcker.
The Grant for Young Artists
In addition to the Praemium Imperiale awards in 5 categories, the Japan Art Association gives an annual grant of 5 million yen (c. $41,000) to a group or institution that encourages the involvement of young people in the arts. The announcement of this grant will take place on September 20, along with the Praemium Imperiale announcement in Paris. Last year the award went to The State Foundation for the National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras of Venezuela (FESNOJIV) to assist their efforts to help young musicians.
In the years since its inauguration, the Grant for Young Artists has been awarded to the Kusatsu International Summer Music Academy of Gunma, Japan; Young Sound Forum of Central Europe; the De Sono Associazione per la Music; the European Union Youth Orchestra; the Residence du Festival, France; the Ulster Youth Orchestra; the Instituto Superior de Arte, Cuba; the National Film, Television and Theatre School, Lodz, Poland; and the Hanoi National Conservatory of Music, Vietnam.