"The goal of awarding the Excellence Award in Culture is to express recognition by the Latvian state for excellent international achievements in culture, which have been a significant investment in the promotion of Latvian cultural values and a positive image of Latvia, have raised the level of prestige for Latvia in the world and cultural values in Latvian society," said Culture Minister Nauris Puntulis (National Alliance). Each award winner receives a prize of 7 000 euros after taxes.
The prize was awarded to art historian and painter, Rundāle Palace Museum Director from 1976 to 2018 Dr.art.h.c. Imants Lancmanis for his cultural work both in Latvia and abroad, and for promoting intercultural cooperation between Latvia and European countries.
The prize was also awarded to opera singer Elīna Garanča for her artistic work in prestigious operas around the world and her solo concerts in cooperation with top European and global orchestras, as well as her significant role in Latvian music and culture.
The final prize recipient was Anna Laudere, who received the award for her achievements in dance as the Hamburg Ballet leading soloist and special Benois-Massine prize at the prestigious Benois de la Danse 2019 ballet awards.
The Ministry of Culture award has gained popularity over the past two years. Only three people could be chosen out of 24 nominees from music, theatre, visual arts, design, dance, cinema and cultural heritage. The Excellence Award in Culture was founded in 2014.