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Awarding Presidential Prizes for Young Culture Professionals and for Writing and Art for Children and Young People

March 26, 2019, The Kremlin, Moscow

Vladimir Putin awarded the 2018 Presidential Prize for Young Culture Professionals and the 2018 Presidential Prize for Writing and Art for Children and Young People.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends.

First of all, I would like to greet you on the occasion of Culture Worker’s Day. This professional holiday was marked yesterday. All of us are aware of the huge, everyday importance of all spheres of culture. We highly value the contribution of those who work in museums, libraries, clubs, concert halls, theatres, film studios, as well as in literature and the arts. Serving culture and the arts is by right considered an essential mission in Russia, primarily because of their contribution to education and enlightenment, to the strengthening of the spiritual and moral foundations in society, as well as to the preservation and accumulation of our rich historical heritage.

As you may know, 2019 has been declared Year of Theatre, and tomorrow we will mark one more holiday, World Theatre Day. We have every reason to be proud of our theatre directors and actors and, of course, our unique repertory theatres, including theatres for children. The world’s first theatre for children was created in this country nearly a hundred years ago. We remember what Konstantin Stanislavsky said when he was asked how to act for children: “The same as for adults, only better.” These wise words from the great director can be applied to everything we do for children and young people. Books, films, theatre performances and music must help the rising generation learn about life with its contradictions and complexities, teaching them to separate the wheat from the chaff and to assert the ideals of goodness, friendship, generosity and justice.

The works of the prize winners fully comply with these principles.

People’s Artist of Russia Boris Diodorov is an illustrator of Russian and foreign classics. In fact, he is a classic himself: his talented, filigree drawings reveal and enrich the contents of more than 300 books, including works by Aksakov, Andersen, Bazhov and many other authors. In his art and educational and pedagogical activities, Diodorov is guided by intrinsic values, presenting readers with beauty and singing praise to the harmony of the world. He is convinced that real art is sincere and simple, and the works of this outstanding master are understandable and close both to children and adults.

Sergei Kazarnovsky has the same force of attraction for his students. A famous Russian pedagogue, he has his own approach to educating young people. In his school Klass-Centre art accounts for two thirds of the content of the education. In his 30 years of activity, Kazarnovsky has proved that school is a major part of our culture, that while passing on knowledge, education should pursue moral ideals that have equal value. Kazarnovsky prioritises the molding of children’s personalities and is focused on developing their feelings, the understanding of good and evil, the importance of human dignity and spiritual uplifting.

Our prize winners include the fabulous and amazing artist Francheska Yarbusova. She can depict both reality and magic, precise details and the disappearing fragility of a dream. It remains an inconceivable mystery how she can convey frosty air, the fragrance of the night or the energy of space in her illustrations. Yarbusova’s works are among the indisputable masterpieces of world art. Characters in such animated films as Hedgehog in the Fog, Left-Hander and The Tale of Tales, to name a few, have forever touched the hearts of many generations.

Friends, our young talented professionals are making a huge contribution to our rich cultural environment.

The professional stance of architect Nikolai Pereslegin is to take a thorough and analytical approach to every project. We can see the embodiment of his bold ideas in our capital’s public spaces, parks and embankments, as well as comfortable residential districts. The signature line of this young architect is the delicate and scrupulous renovation of Moscow’s historical buildings, which have a new lease on life thanks to him. Nikolai Pereslegin’s projects have not only made our city more beautiful but are also promoting its image as a hospitable and comfortable megacity.

Dedication to his profession is also one of Valentin Uryupin’s major traits. He became an accomplished conductor at 21, a unique case in this profession. He has performed with many musicians, including world famous musicians, as an invited conductor. For a fourth year now, he has been the principal conductor of one of Russia’s oldest symphony orchestras in Rostov-on-Don. I know that Valentin Uryupin plans to make that city one of Russia’s music capitals again. It is a noble mission and goal, and we will do everything we can to help him. We are confident that he will attain his goal thanks to his talent as a conductor, his huge creative potential and the ability to create a close-knit team of likeminded people. And all these talents in such a young man. He is also a top class clarinet player, giving solo recitals and bringing joy to his fans.

Theatre director Sergei Chekhov invites audiences to judge his vision of new ideas. He has worked in Moscow and in other Russian cities with widely different and long-established troupes, and every time he finds a way into their hearts, charging them with his innovative ideas and winning acceptance of his creative approach to drama, which includes an open dialogue with the audience. Sergei Chekhov is the founder and the driving force of several creative groups that are both looking for new theatrical concepts and developing the traditions of the Russian theatre school.

Friends, all of our winners today, even though they come from different generations, are noted for their strong will, which, along with their ability to think “out of the box” and to devote all their lives to their professions is evident in their creative endeavours. Thank you for serving Russian culture and for your brilliant achievements. I wish you every success and all the best.

Thank you very much.


Vladimir Putin: Friends, colleagues, winners,

I would like to congratulate all of our winners on today’s event once again, and to wish you new achievements. I have no doubt that all of you will do a lot to contribute to the development of, quoting one of the winners, our great, extensive Russian family, and do so in your own unique way. You thanked the members of the Commission, but here is what I need to tell you.

The Commission members who chose you as winners documented a fact that was recognised by the hundreds of thousands of people that you work for.

I wish you further achievements. Thank you very much.

March 26, 2019, The Kremlin, Moscow