At its Thursday meeting, the Estonian government decided to confirm the recipients of the National Lifetime Achievement Award for Culture — conductor Neeme Järvi, actor lembit Ulfsak and theologian and translator Kalle Kasemaa.
Neeme Järvi, conductor
According to a press release from the Ministry of Culture, Järvi was nominated for the lifetime achievement award by the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra (ERSO), non-profit Järvi Festival MTÜ, Muusika magazine, the Estonian Music Council, CMA OÜ (AS Artists Management) and the Estonian Composers’ Union.
The nominators called Järvi one of the most renowned conductors in the world today who conducts top orchestras and collaborates with top soloists. “The introduction of Estonian music has been very dear to Järvi’s heart,” CMA OÜ added in its statement. “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.”
Lembit Ulfsak, actor
Ulfsak was nominated for the award by the Estonian Drama Theatre, the Estonian Film Industry Cluster, Theatre Vanemuine, the Estonian Theatre Association and the Association of Professional Actors of Estonia. In their statements, 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 have touched the hearts of so many people,” the Estonian Film Industry Cluster added in their statement.
Kalle Kasemaa, theologian, translator
In its statement, the University of Tartu called 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 of the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries, but he can also be compared to Estonian scholars who are already deceased, especially Uku Masing, who was one of Kasemaa’s most important teachers,” the university noted in its statement. The Tallinn City Theatre also highlighted Kasemaa’s more than 60 translations from Hebrew, Yiddish, Greek, Persian, Arabic, Ethiopian, Welsh and other languages, thanks to which Estonia’s 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, with three such awards presented annually. The amount of the award is €64,000.
The awards will be presented together with the national sports awards, science awards and the Ferdinand Johann Wiedemann Language Prize in an event at the Academy of Sciences Hall in Tallinn on Feb. 24 at 1:30 p.m.
Editor: Editor: Aili Vahtla