Stars named by jury and audience
By Lyudmila Minakova
Over 20 singers, composers, music arrangers, producers and musical journalists have been recognised at the National Pop Music Award, hosted by the Palace of the Republic.
Ordinary fans and professionals alike have been eagerly awaiting the ceremony. It was organised by the STV TV Channel two years ago but has only just received the status of a national award, thanks to the Culture Ministry, bringing a whole new level of importance to the ceremony.
The organising committee received around 600 applications from those wishing to conquer the musical Olympus but there were only 16 nominations. The small number of prizes lends them even more significance.
“It doesn’t matter whether you’re a nominee or a winner,” muses Honoured Artiste of Belarus, Irina Dorofeeva. “The vital thing is that the contest inspires creative competition, showing everyone that they aren’t alone in this world and that we share a desire to create music, write beautiful songs, release CDs and tour.”
According to the jury, which assessed the achievements of musical figures over the past year, Inna Afanasieva is the best female singer and Alexey Khlestov the best male singer. Nina Bogdanova has been recognised as the most interesting lyrics writer while Leonid Shirin is the best composer (he writes for Da Vinci band, Alexander Tikhanovich and Yadviga Poplavskaya, as well as Irina Dorofeeva and others). Maxim Aleinikov has been acknowledged as the best producer (working with such bands as Topless and E.V.A). Oleg Klimov, working for SB. Belarus Segodnya newspaper, has won the nomination for best musical journalist, while Troitsa is the best musical band. Meanwhile, the best album of the year is Volume First, by Anna Khitrik and S`unduk.
The jury declared the Love-Destiny concert, by Alexander Tikhanovich and Yadviga Poplavskaya, to be the most compelling of 2011 while Electrification of the Whole Country by J:Mors was named as the most successful tour. Litesound’s See You In Vegas video was recognised as the best. The members of the band admit that they created it completely by their own efforts.
Alena Lanskaya won the title of best song for White Swallow and Dmitry Koldun’s Ships won the ‘Song of the Year’ nomination. Irina Vidova was awarded the People’s Choice Award (a public vote) for For the Last Time. Both maestros and newcomers were recognised at the ceremony, with TEO named as the discovery of the year. Lidia Zablotskaya, who recently returned from Junior Eurovision, was named the best young performer.
The winners have been given diplomas, money prizes and a statuette in the form of a star. Moreover, special prizes were given to Sasha Nemo for best musical acoustics, to Venera for best stage image, to Vadim Galygin and Ilya Mitko for best duo and to ProSSpekt for best writing debut.
From now on, the National Pop Music Award will include recognition of those who have given dozens of years to their profession. The first award ‘For the Development of Traditions of Belarusian Song’ has been given to Prof. Mikhail Finberg, who heads the National Concert Orchestra of Belarus and is a People’s Artist of Belarus. The jury awarded People’s Artist of Belarus Vladimir Mulyavin a prize ‘For Contributions to the Development of Belarusian Pop Art’. Without his songs, the musical culture of the country would be hard to imagine. His compositions are the basis for the Golden Fund of 20th-21st Century Belarusian Songs — another project organised by STV TV Channel and the Culture Ministry. The top thirty five songs in Belarusian were chosen by cultural experts and the STV TV Channel audience on the eve of the National Pop Music Award.