Icon of Belarusian rock music, Lavon Volski, wins 2016 Freemuse Award


Lavon Volski was presented the 2016 Freemuse Award at a ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden on May 8, 2016. He was given the award in recognition of his contribution towards the push for freedom as a democratic Belarusian through his music.

Ole Reitov, Freemuse Executive Director noted that “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”. 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.”

He dedicated the award to his late wife Hanna, who also doubles as his manager stating that “Without her I would have never found the strength and the freedom to keep up with my music – especially in harder times.”

Lavon Volski has immensely contributed to the advancement of rock music in Belarus through his solo projects and the different bands he formed, which includes Mroya, N.R.M., Zet or Krambambulya.

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”.