Composer, satirist win top arts prizes
He was critical that comedy had no room in Slovenia's main theatre houses. At the same time, comedy is understood as anything from stand-up to cheap TV shows.
Partljič is the only contemporary Slovenian playwrights to have "dedicated most of his writing talent to comedy", according to the judging panel said.
His works are a response to social and political developments, which build the comic effect on the elements of universal and timeless comedy, thus many of his old works are still very popular today.
His comedy My Dad, the Socialist Kulak, an iconic political satire about the post-WWII agrarian reform under the new Communist regime, is considered the most successful Slovenian comedy after World War II.
The judging panel labelled Partljič a "classic of Slovenian comedy" characterised by extraordinary knowledge of laws in comedy. He is unique in his understanding for the little people, something he always gets rewarded for by the audience, the panel said.
Partljič is also a master of prose. He has published over 20 works for adults and the youth. As screenwriter he also made a significant contribution to the development of Slovenian film and TV series.
Laureate Petrić, one of the most popular Slovenian contemporary composers, was awarded for his rich and diverse oeuvre that ranges from orchestral to chamber and solo works.
The judging panel said that Petrić is "characterised by his uncompromising dedication to his own poetic principles, contrasting as they may be to mainstream trends and the principles of average taste".
In his younger years Petrić rebelled against the "unnatural optimism of the predominant social realism of the 1950s" and turned to modernism, the panel also said.
Later on, Petrić's unconformity led him away from the mainstream patterns of modernist desire for the new and dictated that his creative expression remain loyal to his own poetic principles.
The 84-year-old, who did not climb the stage tonight due to his trouble walking, nor did he hold an acceptance speech, was modest when asked by the STA before the event about what truth or ideas he has conveyed with his music.
"I don't assume now I've influenced anything. I may have in our circle, while Slovenian art, music has no power globally, because we're too small and cannot make it in other markets."
Six other artists were also honoured today, as Prešeren Fund Prizes were given to composer and choir conductor Ambrož Čopi, director Janusz Kica, painter Aleksij Kobal, poet Cvetka Lipuš, sculptor Mojca Smerdu and actor, dancer and performer Katarina Stegnar.
Each of the six Prešeren Fund laureates gets EUR 7,000 in prize money, while Partljič and Patrić each get EUR 21,000.