Winning the European Culture Prize 2015

On 2 October 2015, the Baltic Sea Youth Philharmonic was awarded the European Cultural Prize of the European Foundation for Culture ‘Pro Europe’, recognizing BYP’s exceptional achievements in developing creativity and innovation, and influencing the young classical scene across the Baltic Sea region.

In particular the prize jury cited BYP’s ‘passionate and thrilling performances as an example to others to inspire worldwide audiences and foster cultural understanding in Europe and beyond.’ The prize was presented by former German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher on the eve of  the 25th anniversary of the reunification of Germany in Dresden’s Frauenkirche. BYP and Kristjan Järvi performed in the live televised ceremony (Central German Broadcasting MDR) together with the preeminent singers Jonas Kaufmann, Angela Gheorghiu and Simone Kermes as well as violinist Daniel Hope and cellist Maximilian Hornung among others.

Honour for outstanding achievements
‘The European Cultural Awards honour outstanding achievements and special contributions in and for Europe. I can’t imagine anything better to celebrate 25 years of the reunification of Germany than an orchestra of young, talented musicians from the countries surrounding the Baltic Sea coming together to create the sound of a united Baltic Sea region’, stated Tilo Braune, President of the European Culture Foundation Pro Europe, in explaining their choice for the award. Dr. Dirk von Ameln, Chairman of the Board of the Baltic Sea Music Education Foundation, adds proudly: ‘The Baltic Sea Youth Philharmonic represents the incredible cultural diversity around the Baltic Sea, uniting the musical spirit of Northern, Eastern and Central Europe. We’re very happy our commitment to international understanding has been recognised and appreciated.’

Traditionally, the award ceremonies for the European Cultural Awards take place under the patronage of the European Parliament, the Council of Europe and the European Commission. Previous award winners include conductors Kurt Masur and Daniel Barenboim, opera star Plácido Domingo, singer Thomas Quasthoff, the Berlin Philharmonic, the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra with its Chief Conductor and Music Director Kristjan Järvi, as well as the MDR Leipzig Radio Choir.