The President of the Republic, Ilir Meta, through a solemn ceremony, honored the prominent artist of Albanian music, Milto Vako, (after his death) with the high title "Grand Master".
The award was given to the musician, conductor and unforgettable lecturer with the motivation: “In appreciation of the dedicated work as a lecturer and valuable contributions in the professional direction for years in the Department of Conducting at the Faculty of Music. With gratitude to the outstanding personality, who with passion and perseverance successfully completed the realization of many musical activities under the direction of the State Ensemble of Songs and Dances, being appreciated not only by art lovers, but also deserving of high national and international awards.
The well-known conductor's artistic activity began decades ago, when he had just returned from Moscow and was appointed to the National Ensemble, as artistic director and later as conductor of the Opera and Ballet Theater choir. In 1962, Professor Vako, together with other well-known figures such as Çesk Zadeja, Albert Paparisto, Hamide Stringa, Mustafa Krantja, etc., gave life to him and founded the State Conservatory of Tirana.
As the conductor of the choir of the Folk Song and Dance Ensemble, Professor Vako achieved successes, which have remained in the public memory even today, singling out the winning of the 'Golden Necklace' in France.
Meanwhile, as a master, the choir of the Opera and Ballet Theater professionally prepared the TOB choir in works such as ‘Mrika’, ‘Heroine’, ‘Skënderbeu’, etc. At the same time, Professor Vako is the author of many elaborations and original choral creations, most of which remain prominent representatives in the fund of classical Albanian choral literature. But life has not been easy at all for Professor Vako. In 1973 he was convicted, left the Ensemble of Folk Songs and Dances and exiled to Tepelena because for the regime of the time, he had prepared a show with very modern and liberal views. But the regime was not satisfied only with his deportation, but after 2 years of deportation in extremely difficult conditions, he was arrested and sentenced to 7 years in prison for agitation and propaganda.
After the end of the sentence, the professor of Ferdinand Deda, Gjon Simoni, Zana Shuteriqi and dozens of other students, works as a plumber in the maintenance company of Tirana Schools. He continued his work until 1991, then he returned as lecturer and head of the canto and conducting department at the Academy of Arts.
Professor Vako continued to work even after retirement with love and dedication, founding and conducting the Girls' Choir at the Academy of Arts and the choir of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Albania. Students gave him strength and desire to live life and at the same time made him proud of their activity all over the world. Art, to which he devoted his whole life, was his great passion.
For all the outstanding contribution as a lecturer and outstanding personality in the field of music, Professor Milto Vako was awarded the high title "Grand Master".