Lavon Volski, an icon of Belarusian rock music, is the winner of the 2016 Freemuse Award.
His songs are anthems of those who dream of a democratic and free Belarus. Thus Volski since many years has been on the regime’s infamous “black list” of artists never played on national radio and banned from performing.
The artist received the award at a ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden, on Sunday 8 May 2016.
“Lavon Volski continues a long tradition of singers with a sincere political attitude, who address important social issues and have become symbols of civil rights movements and through their music express frustrations and hope”, says Ole Reitov, Freemuse Executive Director.
Other artists in this tradition receiving the Freemuse Award are Ramy Essam, Pete Seeger, Ferhat Tunç and Tiken Jah Fakoly.
Receiving the news Lavon Volski said:
“I am very honoured to be awarded the Freemuse Award this year – and I am very grateful. Music is the centre of my life, the way I express myself and the way I express things which I love about my country Belarus or which troubles me in my country. The base of this expression is freedom in its purest form. Without freedom there is no music, no truth – no truth in music. I understand this honour also as an award for all the people who support me – in Belarus, in Europe and in other countries of the world – and for those people who help to maintain the freedom of artistic expression.”
Recently Lavon Volski’s beloved wife, manager, creative inspiration and life companion died. He therefore decided to dedicate the award to Hanna, adding: “Without her I would have never found the strength and the freedom to keep up with my music – especially in harder times.“
Lavon Volski created several successful solo projects and he founded bands such as as Mroya, N.R.M., Zet or Krambambulya which all made a huge impact on the development of a Belarusian-speaking rock music and of a Belarusian culture in general.
The Freemuse Award, initiated in 2008, is given to an individual or an organisation that “has worked for freedom of musical expression in a remarkable way”
‘Hramadaznaustva’ – Lavon’s solo concert in Vilnius
Published on youtube.com on 22 March 2016.
Канцэрт “Крамбамбулі” у Вільні – Krambambulya’s last concert in Vilnius
Streamed live on youtube.com on 7 November 2015