Pierre Boulez and Kurt Masur to receive Adenauer-de Gaulle Prize today

20.06.2011 - Press release

At a ceremony in Paris today, the two Commissioners for Franco-German Cooperation, the French European Affairs Minister Laurent Wauquiez and Werner Hoyer, Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office, will present the Adenauer-de Gaulle Prize to this year’s laureates, Pierre Boulez and Kurt Masur.

To mark this occasion, the two Commissioners released the following statement:

“The award of the Adenauer-de Gaulle Prize to Pierre Boulez and Kurt Masur not only pays tribute to two extraordinary artists of our age but also to two great Europeans who have played a prominent role in modern European history and in the Franco-German friendship.
The careers of Pierre Boulez and Kurt Masur – who both worked for many years in Germany and France – embody the creativity and originality which Europe as a community of shared values continues to produce.
Germany and Europe were still divided when the Adenauer-de Gaulle Prize was launched. The two laureates found themselves on different sides of this dividing line. Even then, however, their works managed to overcome this frontier. Today we are celebrating not just their life’s work but also the special Franco-German friendship and the great European project which Kurt Masur and Pierre Boulez epitomize in such an impressive way. Their courage and free thinking should inspire us to tackle the challenges ahead and to shape Europe’s future.”

For more than twenty years now, the Adenauer-de Gaulle Prize has been awarded to persons or institutions from Germanyand France that have served Franco-German relations in an exemplary fashion.

This year’s laureates, the French conductor and composer Pierre Boulez and the German conductor Kurt Masur, have both made an extraordinary contribution towards Franco-German relations through their professional and private commitment. The two men spent many years in the respective neighbouring country and have had a lasting impact there. Kurt Masur headed the Orchestre National de France between 2002 and 2008. Pierre Boulez, who worked as a conductor in Germanyin the 1950s and 1960s, has been collaborating with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra for many years. He has conducted Wagner operas at the Bayreuth Festival on several occasions.

The award ceremony is taking place in the residence of the German Ambassador, in Hôtel de Beauharnais, in Paris.

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