Standing ovations in the sold-out hall of the Elbphilharmonie. On October 3rd, the Felix Mendelssohn Youth Symphony Orchestra in Hamburg received the European Young Talent Award 2017. Prof. Clemens Malich, conductor and director of the ensemble, was enthusiastic about the award and said: "It is a very special honor for us to receive such an award." Nane Schulz, the youngest member of the orchestra, thanked him for the "beautiful concert “. With over 100 members between the ages of ten and 27, the ensemble is one of the largest and most successful of its kind in Germany. Since it was founded in 1974, the young musicians have played in many European countries. In addition to the TAURUS prize sculpture, they received a grant of 12.000 euros, which will be used for a concert tour to France next year.

A special moment for the young orchestra: the performance with SILBERMOND. Between the titles "B 96" and "Leichtes Gepäck", which were completely re-arranged in a classic guise, front woman Stefanie Kloß gave an emotional laudatory speech. "You have such great energy, it's just contagious," she called out to the young musicians. "If I were young and saw you, my career aspirations would be clear: musician." The title "B 96", which refers to the federal highway 96 - which leads from Zittau in the eastern part of Upper Lusatia to Sassnitz on Rügen - is one very personal homage to the band's homeland. And probably nothing could go better with the Day of German Unity.

However, the reason for the special evening in the Elbphilharmonie was the 30-year town twinning between Dresden and Hamburg. Reason enough for Dresden's Lord Mayor Dirk Hilbert to be there on this day. And another prominent representative represented the Saxon state capital: the cellist and director of the Dresden Music Festival Jan Vogler played together with the Felix Mendelssohn Youth Symphony Orchestra. "I am happy to play with the young musicians of the Felix Mendelssohn Youth Symphony Orchestra and congratulate the young musicians on the award," says Jan Vogler. The world-famous music star also brought some very special guests with him to the North: the Dresden Festival Orchestra he founded under the direction of Josep Caballé Domenech. Like the orchestra, the conductor, who was born in Barcelona, ​​carries the European idea through many countries. He has made guest appearances with orchestras such as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra London, the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, the WDR Cologne Symphony Orchestra, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Stockholm Philharmonic and the Czech Philharmonic.

Six young music ambassadors – also from Dresden – presented themselves from the tier. The ensemble ECHO, consisting of six former members of the Crucians, delighted the sold-out Elbphilharmonie. This group, as well as the award-winning orchestra, represent one of the main concerns of the European Cultural Forum. "We are very aware that the promotion of young talent has to play a major role in today's world," says Sigrid Kühnemann, Chairman of the European Cultural Forum. “It is precisely this task that we take on again and again. After all, we are laying the foundation for sustainable development.” And Sigrid Kühnemann knows the importance of such activities. For the reconstruction of the Dresden Frauenkirche, the circle of friends she and her husband founded in Celle donated Pillar B, one of the six main pillars of the Dresden Frauenkirche.