Frauenkirche (Cathedral of Munich)

An evening of great emotions

On the occasion of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018, the European Culture Awards TAURUS were awarded for the first time in cooperation between the Frauenkirche Foundation and the Europäische Kulturforum eV.

Head of government honored for environmental protection

Prince Albert II of Monaco and the German Ocean Foundation received the TAURUS for their commitment to environmental protection. “With this prize, the European Cultural Forum honored the exemplary commitment of the two foundations to nature and marine conservation. The head of government and Frank Schweikert from the German Ocean Foundation have been committed to saving waters worldwide for many years. It's five to twelve, because the largest living space on our planet seems to be in danger. Overfishing, climate change, plastic waste: the oceans are threatened by many factors. They have made it their task to sensitize people to this and to intensify the need for efficient marine and water protection, which above all is supported by a large majority, and they also carried this message to Dresden.

Two awards for extraordinary life's work

The life's work of the singer Nana Mouskouri was honored that evening, as was that of the painter Gerhard Richter. Gerhard Richter is an artist between East and West, a truly European artist,” said Marion Ackermann in her laudatory speech in the sold-out Frauenkirche. Gerhard Richter's decision to leave his archive in Dresden permanently further underpinned Dresden's reputation as a city of culture and shows his close ties to his hometown. "For me, this award is a great and quite unexpected honor for which I would like to thank you very much," the world-famous artist told the audience.

© Werner Bartsch

Other prizes for prominent artists

Also honored were tenor Piotr Beczala, actor Daniel Brühl, the Dresden Music Festival with its artistic director Jan Vogler, who played a Shostakovich waltz for the guests together with the young talent award winner, the European Union Youth Orchestra. Peter Maffay, who played one of his most famous songs: "Eiszeit", provided the goose bumps of the evening moderated by Götz Alsmann. The musician was honored for his social commitment.

Next Generation innovation prize goes to Dresden company

The Dresden-based company CLOUD&HEAT Technologies GmbH received the Next Generation prize, which was awarded for the first time, and prevailed over several applicants. A top-class jury evaluated the inventiveness and innovative business ideas of more than a dozen companies. The sponsors of the prize are Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, Porsche Leipzig GmbH and the Office for Economic Development of the state capital of Dresden.

Idea of ​​a peaceful and reconciled Europe

"With the award ceremony in Dresden's Frauenkirche, we have focused on what is important today and what we need people and institutions for who are role models: further consolidating the idea of ​​Europe that unites nations and continuing to live the tradition of cultural heritage and ensure that it arrives in modern times," says Bernhard Reeder, board member of the European Cultural Forum Association. "We are very grateful that our idea has received such great support." Among others, Michael Kretschmer, Minister President of the Free State of Saxony, and the Mayor of Dresden, Dirk Hilbert, were present in the Frauenkirche.

A special day for Dresden

Before the award ceremony, Prince Albert II of Monaco had visited the research ship of the German Marine Foundation “Aldebaran”, which was anchored in Dresden. On the Neumarkt, hundreds of Dresdeners and guests took part in the hands-on program "Dresden sings und musiziert", which has been organized by the Dresden Music Festival for 40 years. The first highlight of the evening - punctually at 20.15 p.m. with the start of the live broadcast on MDR - the viewers and listeners on the Neumarkt experienced a unique symbiosis: two orchestras were brought together, in and in front of the Frauenkirche. The Dresden Elbland Philharmonic Saxony played in front of the church under the direction of Jörn Hinnerk Andresen, inside the youth orchestra of the European Union under the direction of Vasily Petrenko. George Frideric Handel's "Hallelujah" was heard, later everyone could listen to the Kreuzchor and choirs of the Dresden Music Festival.