Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy

Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy
Kyoto Prize(U-S-A-) 2013-11-03 17-37.jpg
Awarded forGlobal achievement in Arts and Philosophy
LocationKyoto, Japan
Presented byInamori Foundation
First awarded1985

The Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy is awarded once a year by the Inamori Foundation for lifetime achievements in the arts and philosophy. The Prize is one of three Kyoto Prize categories; the others are the Kyoto Prize in Advanced Technology and the Kyoto Prize in Basic Sciences. The first Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy was awarded to Olivier Messiaen in 1985, the "greatest composer to have emerged from 20th century France". The Prize is widely regarded as the most prestigious award available in fields not traditionally honored with a Nobel Prize.


A Kyoto laureate is awarded a gold medal, a diploma, and a prize money of 100 million yen (US$913,100 or €825,800 as of January 2020), making it one of the richest literary prizes in the world.

Kyoto laureates in Arts and Philosophy

The Kyoto Prize is awarded annually in three categories: Advanced Technology, Basic Sciences, and Arts and Philosophy. The category Arts and Philosophy consists of four fields which are awarded in alternating cycles: Music, Arts, Theater and Cinema, and Thought and Ethics.


Source: Kyoto Prize


Year Laureate Country
1985 Olivier Messiaen (1986).jpg Olivier Messiaen  France 1908–1992 A Composer Who Left a Significant Mark on the 20th Century Music with His Original Theoretical Framework Fundamentally Dependent upon Catholicism
1989 John Cage (1988).jpg John Cage  United States 1912–1992 A Composer Who Established a New Style of Contemporary Music by His New Concept of "Chance Music" and Non-Western Musical Thought
1993 Lutoslawski3.jpg Witold Lutosławski  Poland 1913–1994 A Composer Who Opened New Possibilities of a Contemporary Musical Expression of Atonality and Aleatory Influenced by East European Folk Music
1997 Iannis Xenakis 1975.jpg Iannis Xenakis  Greece 1922–2001 A Composer Who Created a Totally New Music Using Computer-Aided Approach by Viewing Music Statistically as a Set of "Sound Elements"
2001 György Ligeti (1984).jpg György Ligeti  Austria 1923–2006 A Composer with Superb Originality and Firm Commitment to Innovation who Continues to Present New Challenges
2005 Nikolaus Harnoncourt (1980).jpg Nikolaus Harnoncourt  Austria 1929-2016 A musician of exceptional creativity who has contributed to the establishment of the historically informed performance of European early music, and who has extended his principles and interpretation to modern music
2009 Pierre Boulez (1968).jpg Pierre Boulez  France 1925–2016 A Musician Who Has Consistently Set Trends through His Composition, Conducting, Writing, and Organizational Operation
2013 Taylor Cecil moersfestival 120508.jpg Cecil Taylor  United States 1929-2018 An Innovative Jazz Musician Who Has Fully Explored the Possibilities of Piano Improvisation
2017 Taruskin-2014 (cropped).jpg Richard Taruskin  United States 1947–2022 A Musicologist and Critic of Prodigious Erudition Who Has Transformed Contemporary Perspectives on Music through Historical Research and Essays That Defy Conventional Critical Paradigms
2022 Zakir Hussain  India born 1951 A Highly Innovative and Creative Artist who Opened up the New Musical Possibilities of the Tabla, a Traditional Indian Percussion Instrument


Year Laureate Country
1986 Isamu Noguchi  United States 1904–1988 An Artist Who Fused Eastern and Western Tradition not only in Sculpture but also in Broad Areas of Physical Design
1990 Renzo Piano cropped.jpg Renzo Piano  Italy born 1937 An Architect Who Elicited a New Potentiality for Architecture by Lifting Technology to the Realm of Fine Art
1995 Roy Lichtenstein.jpg Roy Lichtenstein  United States 1923–1997 A Painter Whose Pop-Art Motifs Continuously Challenged Established Concepts of Art Its Role in Modern Society
1998 Nam June Paik  United States 1932–2006 An Artist Who Launched the Field of "Media Art" With His Inventive Use of Image Media in Modern Art
2002 Tadao Ando 2004.jpg Tadao Ando  Japan born 1941 An architect who explored the limits of humankind's relationship with nature through his original forms and structures
2006 Issey Miyake Tokyo 2016.jpg Issey Miyake  Japan born 1938 A designer who has made great contribution to the innovative development of clothing by fusing Eastern and Western cultures and applying cutting edge technology
2010 William Kentridge DSC 2685.JPG William Kentridge  South Africa born 1955 An Artist Who Has Created an Original Art by Fusing Traditional Drawings with Animation and Other Media
2014 志村ふくみの肖像写真.png Fukumi Shimura  Japan born 1924 An Artist in Constant Pursuit of the Fundamental Human Value of Harmonious Coexistence with Nature through the Artistic Creation of Tsumugi Kimono on the Basis of Folk Wisdom
2018 Joan Jonas  United States born 1936 An Artist Who Pioneered New Artistic Expression by Integrating Performance Art and New Media, Remaining at the Forefront of Contemporary Art for 50 Years

Theater, cinema

Year Laureate Country
1987 Andrzej Wajda OFF Plus Camera 2012 (cropped).jpg Andrzej Wajda  Poland 1926–2016 A Film Director Who Kept a Firm Eye on the Tumultuous Era of Poland in the 20th Century and Has Depicted Liberty, Courage and Dignity of Human Beings
1991 Peter Brook.JPG Peter Stephen Paul Brook  United Kingdom 1925–2022 A Stage Director, Who Has Inspired New Anima to Classic Repertories through His Innovative Rendering Which Amalgamates Essential Expressions of West and East Theatre Traditions
1994 Akirakurosawa-onthesetof7samurai-1953-page88.jpg Akira Kurosawa  Japan 1910–1998 A Film Director Who Has Pursued the Humanity with an Acute Insight and Highly Original Images
1999 Maurice-Béjart--1984---w.jpg Maurice Béjart  France 1927–2007 A Choreographer Who Has Contributed the Dance to Regain Its Status as Fine Art through His Major Performances such as the "Sacre du Printemps" and the "Bolero"
2003 Tamao Yoshida  Japan 1919–2006 The Foremost Master Puppeteer in Bunraku, a Major Classical Performance Art of Japan
2007 Pina Bausch cropped 2.jpg Pina Bausch  Germany 1940–2009 A choreographer who has broken down the boundaries between dance and theater and pioneered a new direction for theatrical art
2011 BandoTamasaburoV Nihonbashi Dec2012 cropped 2.jpg Tamasaburo Bando V  Japan born 1950 A Creator of Elegant Beauty Whose Artistry with Kabuki at Its Core Crosses Many Genres of Performing Arts
2015 John Neumeier  United States born 1942 A Choreographer Who Developed 20th Century Ballet to New Levels, and Continues to Lead the Global Dance Scene Today
2019 Ariane Mnouchkine  France born 1939 A Stage Director Who Has Innovated Theatrical Expressions Through Her Original Masterpieces for Over Half a Century.

Thought and ethics

Year Laureate Country
1988 Paul Thieme  West Germany 1905–2001 One of the Most Eminent Indologists of the 20th Century Who Made a Significant Contribution to the Comprehension of Indo-Aryan and the Ancient Indian Philosophy through His Detailed Studies of Vedic
1992 Karl Popper2.jpg Karl Raimund Popper  United Kingdom 1902–1994 A Philosopher Who Gave a Great Impact on the Intellectual World of Natural and Social Science by What He Calls Falsifiability Criterion and Advocated the Realization of Open Society Based on the "Critical Rationalism"
1996 Willard Van Orman Quine passport cropped.jpg Willard Van Orman Quine  United States 1908–2000 A Philosopher Who Made Significant Contribution to the Development of Contemporary Philosophy by Rejecting the Method of Analytic-Synthetic Distinction and Naturalizing Epistemology Based on a Holistic and Systematic Linguistic Framework
2000 Paul Ricœur  France 1913–2005 An Imposing Construct of Hermeneutic Phenomenology that Embraces a New Concept of Ethics
2004 JuergenHabermas retouched.jpg Jürgen Habermas  Germany born 1929 Achievements in social philosophy, in particular establishment of the communicative action theory and discourse ethics, and its application in practical activities for a public-minded ideal society
2008 Charles Taylor (cropped).jpg Charles Margrave Taylor  Canada born 1931 Construction of a Social Philosophy to Pursue the Coexistence of Diverse Cultures
2012 Gayatri Spivak on Subversive Festival.jpg Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak  India born 1942 A Critical Theorist and Educator Speaking for the Humanities Against Intellectual Colonialism in Relation to the Globalized World
2016 Martha Nussbaum.jpg Martha Craven Nussbaum  United States born 1947 A Philosopher Who Has Developed a New Theory of Justice Advocating the Capabilities Approach

See also

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