Meritorious Artist (Russian: Заслуженный артист, Zasluzhenny artist, also translated as Merited Artist, Deserved Artist or Distinguished Artist or Honorary Artist or Honorable Actor) is an honorary title in the Soviet Union, Russian Federation, Union republics, and Autonomous republics, also in some other Eastern bloc states, as well as in a number of post-Soviet states.
The title is awarded by a national government to actors, directors, film makers, writers, dancers, singers, painters, architects, etc., for exceptional achievements in arts.
The honorary title was originally modeled after German honorific title for distinguished opera singers. Historically, the title was bestowed by princes or kings, when it was styled Hofkammersänger(in). In Imperial Russia before 1917, several stars of stage and film were honored with the title "Imperial singer", but after the Soviet Revolution of 1917, the new government made changes and established the title of the Meritorious Artist of Russia (RSFSR and other Soviet republics).
The term is confusingly used to translate two different Russian language titles: "заслуженный артист" (literally Meritorious Artist, but better rendered as Meritorious Actor, Meritorious Dancer, etc., awarded in performing arts) and "заслуженный художник" (awarded in some visual arts: painting drawing, and photography). Both titles are awarded for exceptional achievements in the corresponding arts.
In modern Russia, the term Meritorious Actor applied to performing arts, and the title Meritorious Worker of Arts is the translation of the Russian honorary title zasluzhenny deyatel iskusstv is applied to non-performing people, including visual artists, composers, etc.
The same distinction of "Meritorious Artist" (Nghệ sĩ ưu tú, NSƯT) and above that "People's Artist" (Nghệ sĩ nhân dân, NSND) exists also in Vietnam.
- People's Artist
- Merited Artist of Ukraine
- Merited Artist of Albania
- Full list of recipients, by republic (Russian)
- Kammersänger PONS Online Dictionary
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