Conductor Kurt Masur (pictured left) has been awarded this year’s European Cultural Prize by the European Foundation for Culture Pro Europa.
Masur received the foundation’s award, which recognises lifetime artistic achievement, during the 20th anniversary concert of the Usedom Music Festival.
President of the Basel-based organisation, Tilo Braune, said: ‘The Cultural Prize honours the great artist both for his life’s work as a conductor celebrated all over the world, but also for his many initiatives on behalf of young musicians. Furthermore, the prize celebrates Masur’s humanistic philosophy of life and his part in the peaceful revolution in the GDR during the autumn of 1989.’
Masur, who is 86, has worked with many of the world’s top orchestras over the course of his illustrious career, including the London Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Thomas Hummel, artistic director of the Usedom Music Festival, added: ‘We are very grateful that a world star like Kurt Masur supports our Usedom Music Festival, located in the extreme Northeast of Germany in the border region with Poland, and honours us regularly with his presence and his performances. Therefore, the award ceremony for the European Cultural Prize is a perfect match with the 20th anniversary of our festival.’