The prizes, each carrying a cash award of 15 million yen (approximately $186,000), recognize individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the development of the arts in the categories of film/theater, music, painting, sculpture and architecture. Other winners this year include new media artist Bill Viola and former music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Seiji Ozawa.
In addition, the association has named The Royal Court Young Writers Programme and Southbank Sinfonia as the co-recipients of its annual Grant for Young Artists award. Each of the London-based groups will receive an award of 2.5 million yen (approximately $30,000). The grant is presented to organizations that encourage the involvement of young people in the arts.
Dench's myriad theater credits include Amy's View, for which she won the Tony Award, Cabaret, and A Little Night Music. She won the Oscar for Shakespeare in Love and her many film credits Julie Taymor's The Tempest and the movie musical Nine.