Award Citation

Ms. Namjilyn Norovbanzad is an Asian singer famous for her rendition of 'Urtyn duu,' traditional Mongolian folk song. Urtyn duu has been handed down from generation to generation for centuries. The characteristics of Urtyn duu are its eloquence of expression and unique singing style. Each vocalist creates his or her own style by selecting the appropriate grace notes. Urtyn duu is part of the nomadic culture of Mongolia. The vocalists have developed a wide vocal range, an exquisite singing style and eloquence of expression. Nature, lifestyles and life itself are all treated in Urtyn duu. The superb performances of Ms. Norovbanzad, a top singer of Urtyn duu, have introduced Urtyn duu to the world.

Ms. Norovbanzad was born to a nomadic family in Dund-Gobi Province in Mongolia. As a child, she loved Mongolian folk songs. In 1957 she was awarded the Gold medal at the 6th World Youth and Students' Festival in Moscow for her performance of Urtyn duu, gaining international acclaim. Having won first prize, she was able to make her debut as a singer with the State Folk Song and Dance Ensemble. Since then, she has given many performances, both at home and abroad - in East European countries, Switzerland, Italy and China. Her singing has moved audiences throughout the world. She has received numerous awards including the 1961 Meritorious Singer Award, the Mongolian People's Artist Award in 1979 and the nation's highest award, the Mongolian State Prize, in 1984. She is internationally acclaimed as one of the top singers in the world. Ms. Norovbanzad has been invited to Japan to perform on many occasions and has many Japanese fans. Urtyn duu has a close resemblance to 'oiwake,' Japanese traditional song.

As well as holding many important posts, including Consultant of the State Folk Song and Dance Ensemble and Mongolian State Prize Committee member, she trains young performers helping to contribute to the advancement of Mongolian culture.

Her performances of traditional Mongolian music have contributed greatly to the continuation and development of Asian musical culture. Thus Ms. Namjilyn Norovbanzad is an ideal candidate for receiving the Arts and Culture Prize.