Philip Glass, Cai Guo-Qiang named Praemium Imperiale laureates

Composer Philip Glass is one of this year's laureates of the Praemium Imperiale arts awards, organized by the Japan Arts Assn.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Composer Philip Glass and artist Cai Guo-Qiang are among the recently announced laureates of the 2012 Praemium Imperiale awards, organized by the Japan Art Assn. The annual awards are considered one of the most prestigious cultural honors in the world.

This year’s winners also include architect Henning Larsen, sculptor Cecco Bonanotte and ballet dancer Yoko Morishita. The awards honor the recipients’ lifetime achievements in their respective creative fields, and come with a prize of approximately $187,000 each.

Glass turned 75 this year, an event that has occasioned a number of celebrations around the world in the composer’s honor. His recent compositions include his Ninth Symphony, which was performed earlier this year by the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall.


Times music critic Mark Swed described the piece as “late Glass at his most momentous, a significant symphony by America’s most significant symphonist.”

Cai is a conceptual artist whose works have been shown at museums around the world. Earlier this year, he presented an exhibition of his work titled “Sky Ladder” at L.A.’s Museum of Contemporary Art.

The Praemium Imperiale Awards will be presented Oct. 23 in Tokyo. Last year’s recipients included artist Bill Viola, conductor Seiji Ozawa, sculptor Anish Kapoor, architect Ricardo Legorreta and actress Judi Dench.


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