President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon friends.
First of all, let me congratulate you sincerely on Cultural Workers’ Day and on receiving these prizes. They are being awarded today to people who have dedicated their creative work to children and young people, and to people, who, though still young themselves, have already made their mark on the arts. I think it is symbolic that these prizes are being awarded at a single ceremony. Our young creative talent was raised in part on the achievements of their older colleagues, and many of you grew up on their works.
Let me say a few words first of all about Yevgeny Krylatov’s wonderful songs and music. Many generations know and love his melodies.
Many generations have discovered too the literary heroes created by the best children’s writers through Yevgeny Medvedev’s marvellous illustrations.
Another of the laureates today is Mikhail Khokhlov, director of the Gnessin State Musical College. He has nurtured many talented young people, most of whom have gone on to make music their life and vocation.
The creative and educational efforts of our country’s masters and talents make an invaluable contribution to developing artistic taste and shaping our entire society and people’s outlook on life, making them involved, responsible and creative individuals.
I want to make particular mention of the Mikhail Ulyanov State Northern Dramatic Theatre. Its representatives are receiving the prize today. In 2002, these graduates of the Omsk Regional College of Culture and Arts went together to the small town of Tara and established a theatre there. It turned out to be very popular with the residents. The regional authorities helped to build a modern building for it and it is now quite literally the main cultural centre for the entire northern Irtysh region. I think this is an excellent example of how, with the authorities’ active support, we can and should carry out public initiatives of social importance.
Another group of laureates certainly has a socially important project. I am referring to the young creators of the documentary about the Sochi Paralympics, Spirit in Motion. Their talented presentation of these courageous athletes’ stories pays respect to and shows admiration for their skill and optimism. This film instils hope in all who have found themselves in difficult circumstances and shows what summits can be scaled through strength of will and belief in oneself.
Those who are preserving and developing our classical artistic heritage and bringing it to the broadest possible audience in Russia are also performing a mission of great importance for our country and society.
In this respect, the soloists of the Eifman Ballet Theatre of St Petersburg have achieved great success and are being awarded the prize for young cultural professionals today.
Laureates, what distinguishes all of you, the experienced masters and the young talents, is not just a special creative gift but also a deep awareness of your work’s importance for our country, people and society. Talent, responsibility as citizens, and selfless dedication to your work, people and country form the foundation of your success and make it especially precious. This is valuable in any profession, of course.
Our country has many outstanding and successful people who are dedicated to their work. The winners of the prize for young scientists were invited to be special guests at today’s ceremony. They are open to innovation, bold and competent, and have made a big contribution to developing our country’s science, thereby making Russia richer and stronger.
Unfortunately, changes in my schedule meant that I was unable to present your awards to you in person in February. I am pleased to have the chance to greet you here today. We will meet separately to talk and discuss what you are doing, how your work is going, and look at the prospects for the future.
Of course, I want to wish all of you new creative achievements and success.
Friends, let me congratulate you once again from all my heart.
Speaking of the Paralympic movement, one of the laureates said that now she must continue scaling new heights. I can tell you that we all need to keep scaling new heights. We should only move forward. With such talented young people as yourselves, we have every opportunity for putting this into practice with the best of results.
I wish you success. Thank you very much.