Pianist Alfred Brendel has been named one of the 2009 winners of the Japan Arts Association’s Praemium Imperiale awards. The annual prize recognizes lifetime achievement in the arts; winners each receive a prize of 15 million yen (approximately $163,000). Other winners this year were architect Zaha Hadid; painter/photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto; sculptor Richard Long; and playwright Tom Stoppard. In addition to the five winners of the Praemium Imperiale, the Japan Art Association also awarded its annual Grant for Young Artists to the Kremerata Baltica ensemble. The latter prize is given to a group or institution that encourages the involvement of young people in the arts, and carries carries an award of 5 million yen (approximately $54,000). An awards ceremony will take place in Tokyo on October 22; Prince Hitachi, honorary patron of the Japan Art Association, will give the laureates their medals and diplomas. The Praemium Imperiale was created in 1988 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Japan Art Association and to honor Prince Takamatsu, who served as the association’s honorary patron for 58 years. Previous winners in the music category include Zubin Mehta, Leonard Bernstein, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Mstislav Rostropovich, and Ravi Shankar.

Posted September 30, 2009