Praemium Imperiale

I went to the announcement of this year’s winners of the Praemium Imperiale, established in 1989 as the arts equivalent to the Nobel Prizes, although it attracts less publicity. William Kentridge was awarded the Painting Prize (it is more about drawing); Mona Hatoum, the prize for sculpture; Tod Williams and Billie Tsien the prize for architecture – they were responsible for the new Barnes Foundation building in Philadelphia and the Asia Society building in Hong Kong; Anne-Sophie Mutter, the violinist, for music;  and Bandõ Tamasaburõ, a Kabuki actor, the prize for theatre. A good statement of the importance of high culture in the world.

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