Zakir Hussain has been named a 2022 Kyoto Prize Laureate by the Inamori Foundation for his contribution to arts and philosophy. The Kyoto Prize is an international award of Japanese origin, presented to individuals who have made significant contributions in the fields of science and technology, as well as the arts and philosophy. This internationally renowned award was born out of the sincere wish of Kazuo Inamori to “contribute to the progress of the future of humanity while maintaining a balance between the development of science and civilization and the enrichment of the human spirit.”

The Inamori Foundation says, “A leading tabla player of Hindustani music, Zakir Hussain transcended the framework of traditional Indian music and opened up a new world of music by collaborating with musicians of various genres from around the world. With his superb technique, engaging performances, and rich creativity, he made a tremendous impact on musicians worldwide.”

Zakir says, “In sincere humility, I accept the 2022 Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy, an unexpected blessing bestowed upon me by the Inamori Foundation. I pray that someday I may have the opportunity to prove myself worthy of the confidence that this great Foundation has expressed in my ability and my work. As I receive this award, I am appreciating the vision and support which the award carries, and I am inspired to move forward in my work as I focus on finding new ways to express what my ancient Indian tradition has to offer. I am deeply grateful to the Foundation for providing an extraordinary resource nurturing creativity and human endeavor.”

Photo credit: Jim McGuire