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2010 Presidential Prize for young cultural professionals award ceremony

June 28, 2011, The Kremlin, Moscow

The winners of the 2010 Presidential Prize are:

– Darima Bazarova, director of the national and local history documents centre at the Republic of Buryatia’s National Library, for her contribution to preserving Buryatia’s historical and cultural heritage through use of modern information technology;

– Maria Markova, poet, for her contribution to developing Russia’s poetic traditions;

– Yekaterina Mechetina, pianist, for her contribution to developing Russia’s musical arts and her outstanding skill as a performer.

The award ceremony was held at the Kremlin’s St Catherine Hall. Dmitry Medvedev congratulated the winners on receiving the award and presented them with badges and certificates.
The annual Presidential Prize for young cultural professionals was established by the President’s Executive Order on February 3, 2011. Prizes are awarded for a significant contribution to the development of national culture in order to encourage the laureates’ further efforts and promote a positive environment for new creative achievements.
The Presidential Prize for young cultural professionals was presented for the first time this year. Starting next year, the award ceremony will be held on March 25, which is celebrated in Russia as Culture Day.


President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Friends, laureates,

You are the first recipients of this award. What happened is that a while back, when I was presenting State Prizes to young scientists in this hall, some of my colleagues came up to me and said, “How is it that you are honouring young scientists, but not young cultural professionals?” So today, we are correcting that mistake.

You are the very first laureates, and I sincerely congratulate you on this prestigious award. I certainly hope that like any award of such a high level, it will be valued and presented to the best cultural professionals of our nation. I also hope that to some extent, it will help you resolve certain problems faced by all individuals. This, too, is one of the prize’s goals.

It is a real pleasure for me to say a few more words about you. Traditionally, you hear nice things said about you when you walk down the red carpet, but I think that it would be right to say a few more kind words about our laureates.

”The newest technologies make cultural assets accessible to people even in the most remote areas of Russia, and for us, for Russia’s residents, this is a truly important challenge – as important as our country is vast.“

Modern Russia is famous for having many talented pianists, who perform in various places and gain international renown. This means that the new generation of performers has not just maintained, but is further developing the best traditions of the Russian piano school. Yekaterina Mechetina is an example of this. I would like to note that our laureate gave her first solo concert when she was only ten years old, and today, she performs on world-renowned stages and wins major international contests. Her extraordinary success lies in her talent, artistry, and a varied repertoire that includes both classical and modern works.

Another Presidential Prize laureate, Darima Bazarova, works at the Republic of Buryatia’s National Library. You know in what great demand modern technologies are in contemporary world. I myself enjoy employing them and require that civil servants learn to use them fully, because without them, modern life is not possible. True, these technologies are very important not only for making modern administrative decisions, but also for creating whole virtual museums and electronic libraries, as well as streaming concerts online, which incidentally is a truly special phenomenon that did not yet exist even seven to ten years ago.

The newest technologies make cultural assets accessible to people even in the most remote areas of Russia, and for us, for Russia’s residents, this is a truly important challenge – as important as our country is vast. The fact that our laureate and her colleagues have created an electronic library that promulgates the indigenous culture of peoples in the outskirts of our nation is certainly an exceptionally important event. They prepared some outstanding research library databases, but most critically, the informational resource they created is popular among specialists as well as a wide range of users, which is perhaps even more essential.

The Prize is also being awarded to our young, talented poet from Vologda, Maria Markova.

I suppose that in every era, people say that poetry is coming to an end: this happened during the classical period, the Silver Age of Russian poetry, and perhaps even the Soviet period. But the truth is, that is simply false, for obvious reasons. Maria Markova’s poetry serves as proof of this. Her poems stand out for their outlook on life, their depth and their excellent command of the language, which is particularly relevant for our lives today, as it is something our society has struggled with.

I find it entirely right to support young writers and poets today, through this prize and through other actions in the regions. They, perhaps, need that support more than anybody else.


”I find it entirely right to support young writers and poets today, through this prize and through other actions in the regions. They, perhaps, need that support more than anybody else.“

The prize being presented today for the first time, the Presidential Prize for young cultural professionals, will then be awarded on a professional holiday – Culture Day – just as the prize [in science and innovation] for young scientists was awarded on Russian Science Day.

The awarding of the prize means that all our laureates have already made great accomplishments in their cultural professions. Perhaps there is just one thing that comes as a surprise: today’s first award has brought together some beautiful women, but not a single young man – it seems their talents are not as outstanding. In any case, this makes it all the more a pleasure for me to present it.

I sincerely congratulate you and wish you success.

* * *

If you’ll allow me, I would like to say a few more words.

Each speech addressed a very important idea. Darima Bazarova said that librarians are fighting on invisible frontlines. I will make just one adjustment: librarians on the invisible frontlines do not have any failures. In a sense, everything you do always benefits our nation, helping an enormous number of people open up their own inner worlds and realise themselves as individuals. It’s no secret that many librarians are devotees to an idea; they work for very low compensation but they are not going anywhere, because they feel that this is their mission in life. That’s very important.

Maria Markova’s words prove the well-known truth that brevity goes hand-in-hand with talent. No further commentary is necessary.

I fully agree with what Yekaterina Mechetina said. For a growing young nation like Russia, a country facing complexity, the people representing it are very important. For many of the people present, the Soviet Union is also associated with a certain set of images. In Soviet times, we had some exceptional people who were truly creating our culture, and sometimes in very difficult circumstances – under the conditions of censorship, restrictions, shortages in everything and many other hardships – but they are the source of our pride. On the other hand, the Soviet Union also involves a collection of other images shown in newsreels.

A set of images pertaining to our modern achievements will remain from our era as well. And I would very much like for the image of our era, as well as the image for 2011, to be associated with you, because you are young, beautiful, and most importantly, you have already done a great deal of good for our nation.

Thank you for that.

June 28, 2011, The Kremlin, Moscow