The award was first given out in 2004 by the Baltic International Festival Center to develop and strengthen cultural ties in the Baltic Sea region.

Along with Klas, Polish actress Barbara Brylska and Russian singer and actress Edita Piekha will receive the award. Two posthumous awards were also presented for cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich and singer Eduard Khil.

The only other Estonian to receive the award is composer Arvo Pärt.