The Outstanding Pole statuette for the individuals who in an extraordinary way promote Poland is one of many awards that Jan A.P. Kaczmarek – an Academy Award winner for the film score to Finding Neverland – received for his exceptional work – emphasized the organizers during the Award Ceremony. This statuette is very heavy – said the composer upon receiving it. – I know from experience that only the heavy ones matter. I am grateful for this. I am honored to receive this award. It is also a great responsibility to carry on and work as hard and on an international scale.
I first realized how important Poland really is when I lived in the United States. I arrived in the U.S. when I was 36 – a man already formed by growing up in Poland. I brought with me my already fixed mental algorithm, and in such a case the awareness of your origins becomes even stronger. Identity and passion are the two things that I always try to embrace and live by. Identity means also one's character, and, after all, it is the character that attracts other people (…).
I followed our Polish history closely mostly from the U.S. perspective and I am proud that in such a short time we managed to build a democracy, gain strength and hope that is always changing its nature – something that always brings us joy.At the same time, I see that we live in very turbulent times. What was given to us – our ambitions, passion, success – must be cultivated in a smart way so that they can continue.
The “Teraz Polska” (Now Poland) Competition Jury awarded the prize in this cathegory for the eight time. In the previous editions, the title of “The Outstanding Pole” was awarded to: Wojciech Kilar, Hilary Koprowski, Professor Maria Siemionow, Professor Jacek Jassem, Adam Małysz, Professor Wiesław L. Nowiński, Professor Henryk Skarżyński, Rafał Olbiński, Professor Krzysztof Penderecki, dr Janusz Lewandowski, Professor Marek Belka, as well as Andrzej Wajda, Jan Kulczyk, Zygmunt Solorz-Żak, Waldemar Dąbrowski, Professor Krzysztof Matyjaszewski, Elżbieta Wysoczańska and dr Irena Eris.
This year, the Competition Jury awarded the title to two internationally renowned artists: Jan A.P. Kaczmarek and Krzysztof Pastor – the director of the Polish National Ballet, choreographer and producer.
The Award Ceremony took place during the “Teraz Polska” Gala, which was held at the Grand Theater in Warsaw on May 29, 2017.