Sophia Loren gets a declaration of love

Flashbulbs and shouts of "Sophia, Sophia" accompanied the exceptional Italian artist to the Vienna State Opera. The audience later celebrated Sophia Loren and her life's work with standing ovations. Her son Carlo Ponti drew the peculiarity of the Loren, whose "legendary status is based not only on talent and professional dedication, but also on deeply human qualities." The Taurus is a "recognition of an indelible cultural legacy that will forever be a beacon of artistic excellence will be and will inspire generations to come." And he ended with a declaration of love: "Mom dear, I love you; we all love you."

Gordon Getty honored for his unique commitment to culture

In an emotional laudatory speech, star violinist Daniel Hope honored American cultural patron and composer Gordon Getty: "Have you ever seen someone cry because they were listening to the music? One of those people, so sensitive, so dedicated, so completely absorbed in the sound?” His love belongs to classical music and he has also been supporting young artists and cultural institutions worldwide for decades. Daniel Hope performed Getty's play The Fiddler of Ballykeel with Jacques Ammon that night.

European culture award for social commitment to fashion icon and activist

In her laudatory speech, Barbara Meier, wearing a Vivienne Westwood robe, pays tribute to the fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, who has initiated and supported a wide variety of campaigns as an environmental activist for more than 20 years. The Englishwoman also changed her life - with her numerous actions, with her loyalty to principles, with her fashion. "They show that there is no contradiction between working in the fashion industry and at the same time promoting responsible use of it," says Barbara Meier. "In my work as an ambassador for fair fashion, in my fight against plastic waste in the sea and as a supporter of the Grüner Knopf textile seal, I actually think of you often. Having fighters like you in our industry is not only incredibly important but also very inspiring.”

Prima Donna honored for great achievements and big heart

Opera singer Nina Stemme knows the stage of the Vienna Opera very well, she has appeared on it more than 20 times as Senta in the "Flying Dutchman". "Your skill, your passion, your talent for a fascinating art form create very special moments," says the nomination letter from the European Cultural Forum. The grande dame of the opera, Christa Ludwig, presented the honor and went into raptures: “She is the greatest dramatic soprano of our time. She doesn't have to play Prima Donna. She is prima donna. That's the great thing about her, that despite great successes all over the world, she hasn't lost her humanity and truthfulness."

Brilliant orchestral power thanks to a woman

Simone Young, who made her debut in the traditional house in 1993, stood at the conductor's podium that evening. A performance that was decisive for her career, said Ioan Holender, who brought her to the State Opera. He has known Simone Young for a long time, traced her life, paid tribute to her as the first woman to conduct the Vienna State Opera, told the audience that he also appreciates her extraordinary piano talent and insisted that evening Simone Young received the European Culture Prize to hand over. With the Orchestra of the Vienna State Opera, she played a leading role in the extensive program. Works by Mozart, Wagner, Verdi and Beethoven, among others, were performed.

Star of the painting scene is happy about the award

At the end of September, painter Neo Rauch was awarded the “Oper! Award”. In Vienna he was presented with the Taurus European Culture Prize for fine arts. He dedicated the prize to all those "who, especially in Leipzig, use the brush even more courageously, even more foolhardily, even more insubordinately over the canvas than I do."

European culture award ceremony goes to Bonn in 2020

The Lord Mayor of Bonn, Ashok-Alexander Sridharan, who will be hosting the European Culture Prize on the occasion of Beethoven's 3th birthday in Bonn next year on October 250, gave the laudation for the environmental initiative R20 AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT. "The award recognizes an initiative that aims to unite cities and regions from around the world in the fight against climate change and in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals," he said. The R20 initiator is Arnold Schwarzenegger, who thanked and appealed for the special award with a video message: “I have pursued many jobs that always involved a lot of work and required perseverance. It's no different when it comes to protecting the environment. It needs more persuasion, because there are still enough people who don't take the environmental crisis seriously."

Kammersänger René Pape on the road in a Trabant in Vienna

With "Il lacerato spirito" from Verdi's "Simon Boccanegra", bass René Pape showed why he received the European Culture Prize. He entices critics with the most beautiful reviews, and his performances in Bayreuth never cease to amaze. As soon as you thought you recognized him, René Pape changed again - his distinctive voice remains the connecting element. "It's always something special for me when I can perform in Vienna, this unique cultural hub," says René Pape. "The house has accompanied me for many years, the ensemble is very familiar to me." And it was precisely on this stage that he received the European Culture Prize 2019.

Promoting young talent for Thomas Hampson is a matter of the heart

His life's work is an example of what passion can achieve. His successes around the world have never stopped Thomas Hampson from thinking about the next generation. One example is the “Heidelberger Frühling”, a song academy. Thomas Hampson regularly passes on his experiences to young singers, training them above all in the song, a cultural asset that is often neglected. “It is very fulfilling and beneficial to help young colleagues to gain insight. I'm addicted to these aha moments," says the 64-year-old.

Kammersänger Thomas Hampson insisted on personally presenting the European Young Talent Award 2019 to the exceptional young artist Alma Deutscher. Both have been on stage together several times, soon also in New York's Carnegie Hall.

Alma Deutscher has been composing since she was a child and acts as a cultural ambassador for Europe. Her first opera "Cinderella" was celebrated in a special version in Vienna in 2016 under the patronage of Maestro Zubin Mehta with standing ovations and international acclaim. The English-language premiere took place in December 2017 in San José (California) and in January 2018 there was a special version for children at the Vienna State Opera. Here, at the gala for the presentation of the European Culture Awards, tradition is combined with an outstanding modernity, here the appreciation of the established Viennese house for a "youth star" and thus the unifying effect of classical music between the generations is evident.

Klemens Hallmann presented the European Culture Prize Gala at the Vienna State Opera

The European Culture Prize Gala was presented by Hallmann Holding, the group of companies owned by investor and entrepreneur Klemens Hallmann. "As an Austrian entrepreneur, it is a great pleasure for me to present this extraordinary event in my hometown and to make a contribution to the diversity, preservation and further development of the European cultural landscape," says Hallmann. "Culture connects, culture creates identity, culture gives strength," says Hallmann, explaining his commitment. “Culture forms the common ground on which our society can continue to develop in a future-oriented manner. I want to promote and support that.”