Speech of Mr. Takis Nemitsas at the awards ceremony on 16/9/2011

Your Excellency President of the Republic,
Honoured guests,
Good evening.

Your Excellency Mr. President, we thank you for giving us the opportunity to hold the Classical Music awards ceremony in the beautiful surroundings of the Presidential Palace.
Following the first awards for Medical Sciences in November 2010, we managed- within 10 months- to complete the necessary procedures to mark our recognition of a very different field- the Arts. Tonight we are here to award the 2011 Nemitsas Prize in Classical Music.

The artists being awarded tonight are two acclaimed pianists

Cyprien Katsaris and Martino Tirimo

whose performances on the piano delight and thrill any audience fortunate enough to hear them play. They have done us proud by making our country known in a very special way- through Classical Music.

By simultaneously awarding both of our musicians, the Foundation has not put neither in first or second place. The award is being given equally to both piano virtuosos because in art, and music in particular,  every creator has his own particular gifts with which he enchants and speaks to the soul of each and every one of us.

The Nemitsas Prize 2011 is tonight being awarded at Cyprus’ most official venue, the Presidential Palace, and by the President himself- a sign of highest respect to the musicians who constitute the best Cyprus has to offer the international music scene.
Our own country could not have been left unaffected by the many unexpected and unpleasant problems facing the entire world today. However, culture -celebrations and cultural events, such as this one tonight- is food for the soul. It is something that must be encouraged and promoted, even during the hardest of times, to send the message that life does go on in spite of all the difficulties and that it does, eventually, triumph.
Through the ages, the importance of the Arts, and music in particular, in the development of culture, has been colossal.
Music is a language spoken by all and it expresses the deepest of emotions that some of us are never able to express in words.
Looking back through history we see that the old kings and lords of Europe supported and were patrons of great composers such as Bach, Mozart, Haydn and others, allowing them to concentrate on writing music.
They asked the musicians to compose particular pieces for various events of those times.
While the names of most of these noblemen have been forgotten, the composers they supported will always be remembered and the music they wrote will be heard for as long as mankind exists.
The piano is considered to be the king of instruments. I believe that its wide range and rich sound make the piano deserving of this title, particularly since this affords it a larger repertoire than perhaps any other instrument.
It is also worth mentioning that scientists in various fields of medicine have determined that Classical Music has a beneficial effect on many mental and other illnesses. There is, for example, the belief that by listening to Mozart for a few minutes every day someone can increase their IQ.
Also, as many times as you listen to a classical piece, there is oddly always something new to discover to move you and make you appreciate it even more.
What is absolutely certain is that Classical Music lifts us up, it builds character and makes a person calmer and more civilised.
With all of this in mind, along with the tireless efforts and very hard work of our special associates and our Foundation’s Board, we have the exceptional joy of presenting to you tonight

Martino Tirimo and Cyprien Katsaris

and honouring them with the Nemitsas 2011 award, a Cypriot prize that has been created to be awarded in a different sector each year.

In conclusion, I would like to thank the Protocol Department and staff of the Presidential Palace for their great assistance for tonight’s event, something which they provided with great enthusiasm. Without their help, this evening would not have been such as success.
I would also like to thank Andy Bargilly and Display Art for the beautiful set and general presentation of the event we have all enjoyed tonight.
I would also, finally, like to thank all of you who have honoured us with your presence at this ceremony.


Takis Nemitsas