The following is the acceptance speech delivered by Latvian violinist Gidon Kremer at the 28th annual Praemium Imperiale Award Ceremony on October 18, 2016. The Praemium Imperiale is one of the most prestigious international prizes in the fields of painting, sculpture, architecture, music, theatre, and film. This year's other laureates include American artist Cindy Sherman, French sculptor Annette Messager, Brazilian architect Paulo Mendes da Rossa, and American film director Martin Scorsese.
Over the course of a five-decade career as one of the epoch’s outstanding musical artists, violinist Gidon Kremer has repeatedly tied his creative work to the tumultuous mast of current events. His service to the classical tradition and his tireless search for vital new compositional voices both dovetail with his consideration for what goes beyond music—the tragic events of our time, global hotspots, and individuals who have brought disquiet to millions. Kremer’s recent activism has been increasingly focused on one of his several homelands, Russia—the Russia incarnated in his “My Russia” and “Russia: Faces and Masks” projects as well as in concerts dedicated to Anna Politkovskaya and Mikhail Khodorkovsky. The following text is based on an interview conducted with Gidon Kremer for Colta.ru in November 2014. We spoke in Kiev, just before the debut of his project “Dedication to the Ukrainian People” . . .