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By Culturekiosque Staff

NEW YORK, 12 SEPTEMBER 2015 — Earlier this week, the Japan Art Association announced that Mitsuko Uchida, the Japanese-born British pianist whose deeply personal and insightful interpretations of Mozart and Beethoven have set the highest standards in central repertoire and made her one of the world’s greatest artists, and Sylvie Guillem, the French ballerina whose artistry, technical prowess, and vivid dramatic presence have established her as one of the premier dancers of her generation, have won the 2015 Praemium Imperiale International Arts Award.

They are joined by three other internationally celebrated cultural figures: Tadanori Yokoo, one of Japan's most popular and respected graphic designers and artists; German sculptor Wolfgang Laib, known for installations that call attention to the ephemeral nature of time and the power of nature; and Dominique Perrault, the French architect who "treads his own bold path" with designs that "can be wildly imaginative … [or] … abstractly minimal" (The Guardian).

At a ceremony in Tokyo on 21 October 2015, Imperial Highness Prince Hitachi, honorary patron of the Japan Art Association, will present each Praemium Imperiale winner with a specially-designed gold medal and a testimonial letter. The award also brings with it 15 million yen (approximately $122,000).

Now in its 27th year, the Praemium Imperiale International Arts Award is one of the most prestigious international prizes in the fields of Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, Music and Theatre/Film. The prize has become a powerful voice for the importance of cultural expression in today’s world, bringing international attention to the arts in much the same way as the Nobel Prize brings attention to the sciences.

The 2015 Praemium Imperiale laureates join 134 of the greatest cultural figures of the 20th and 21st centuries. They include Ingmar Bergman, Leonard Bernstein, Peter Brook, Anthony Caro, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Norman Foster, Athol Fugard, Frank Gehry, Jean-Luc Godard, David Hockney, Willem de Kooning, Akira Kurosawa, Renzo Piano, Robert Rauschenberg, Mstislav Rostropovich and Ravi Shankar.

The Praemium Imperiale International Arts Award was created in 1988 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Japan Art Association and to honor the late Prince Takamatsu, who was the association’s honorary patron for 58 years.

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