At its meeting today, on February 9th, the government decided to confirm the recipients of the National Lifetime Achievement Award for Culture nominated by the relevant committee. Awards for long-term distinguished activity will be awarded to conductor Neeme Järvi, actor Lembit Ulfsak, and theologian and translator Kalle Kasemaa.
Conductor Neeme Järvi was nominated for the lifetime achievement award by the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, the non-profit Järvi Festival MTÜ, Muusika magazine, the Estonian Music Council, CMA OÜ (AS Artists Management) and the Estonian Composers’ Union. The nominators called Neeme Järvi one of the most renowned conductors in the world today, who conducts the top orchestras and collaborates with the best soloists. In its statement, CMA OÜ added that “the introduction of Estonian music has been very close to Järvi’s heart. This contribution must be considered invaluable, because without it the world would know significantly less about such composers as Eduard Tubin, Rudolf Tobias, Artur Kapp, and many others,” CMA OÜ noted.
Actor Lembit Ulfsak was nominated for the lifetime achievement award by the Estonian Drama Theatre, Estonian Film Industry Cluster, Vanemuine Theatre, Estonian Theatre Association and the Association of Professional Actors of Estonia. In their statements, Lembit Ulfsak was called a charming and charismatic actor, whose roles – from Ukuaru Aksel to the leading role in Tangerines – comprise a vivid gallery worthy of recognition. It was also stated that Ulfsak undoubtedly has had the most outstanding film career of any Estonian actor and that his talent has crossed borders. “There are few people whose work and talent has touched the hearts of so many people,” the Estonian Film Industry Cluster added in their statement.
In its statement, the University of Tartu called theologian and translator Kalle Kasemaa one of the most versatile translators and humanities scholars in Estonia. “It can definitely be said that, for Estonia, he is the best living intermediary and interpreter of the cultures and religions of the Mediterranean and Middle East countries; but he can also be compared to Estonian scholars who are already deceased, especially to Uku Masing, who was one of Kasemaa’s most important teachers,” the University of Tartu noted in its statement. On the other hand, the Tallinn City Theatre highlighted Kasemaa’s more than 60 translations from Hebrew, Yiddish, Greek, Persian, Arabic, Ethiopian, Welsh and other languages, thanks to which our linguistic space is one of the richest in the world.
The National Lifetime Achievement Award for Culture is presented for outstanding long-term creative activity and the amount of the award is €64,000. Three lifetime achievement awards are presented each year.
The National Culture Awards for outstanding work that has reached the public is 2016 will be presented to actress Mari-Liis Lill and playwright-director Paavo Piik for their joint production Teisest silmapilgust (From the Second Moment) to jazz singer and composer Kadri Voorand for her album Armupurjus (Love Inebriation) and her active concert activity in Estonia and abroad, as well as for leading the vocal ensemble Estonian Voices and for her programme called Tribute to Veljo Tormis. The annual prize will also be presented to composer and electronic musician Sven Grünberg for his jubilee season and concerts called “Self-Portraits” and to the vocal ensemble Vox Clamantis for their 20th season and the album of Arvo Pärt’s The Deer’s Cry. The jewellery artist Kadri Mälk will receive the annual award for her two solo exhibitions and book called Testament.
The amount of each annual award is €9,600 and five awards are presented each year.
The presentation of the lifetime achievement awards and annual awards for culture will take place on February 24th at 1:30 p.m. in the Academy of Sciences hall on Toompea Hill together with the presentation of the national sports awards, science awards and the Ferdinand Johann Wiedemann Language Prize.