Mendelssohn Award 2011

Leipzig International Mendelssohn Prize 2011

In 2011 the Leipzig International Mendelssohn Prize was awarded in two categories: Music and Social Engagement

The Leipzig International Mendelssohn Prize, to give it its full title, was awarded to Kammersänger Peter Schreier and Prof. Marcel Reich-Ranicki on 24 September 2011. Prizes were awarded this year in two of the three possible categories – music, fine art and social commitment – by the Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Foundation.

Leipzig International Mendelssohn Prize 2011

Kammersänger Peter Schreier
The jury justified its decision as follows: during his career as a vocalist, Prof. Peter Schreier has developed a broad repertoire, which he has performed brilliantly. He has enjoyed global success across the genres (lied, oratorio, opera and operetta). His interpretations of oratorio parts in works by Johann Sebastian Bach and Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy are particularly noteworthy.
But Peter Schreier has achieved his greatest success as a master of lieder. Both Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy and Franz Schubert were prolific writers of lieder, and Peter Schreier has performed sterling service in spreading the popularity of Mendelssohn’s gems of musical literature with his recordings of the latter’s work. These recordings serve even today as a benchmark for others to aspire to.
Kammersänger Peter Schreier now feels under an obligation to pass on his extensive experience to the talent of tomorrow. International vocal master classes testify to the dedication which the singer devotes to training and bringing on the next generation. In terms of his dissemination and nurturing of Europe’s musical heritage, he follows closely in the footsteps of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy.
The artiste is honoured in the ‘Music’ category.

Marcel Reich-Ranicki
Prof. Marcel Reich-Ranicki’s life and family history bear eloquent witness to the heinous world events of last century. We are familiar with many of these historic incidents. But most of us are less aware that Marcel Reich-Ranicki was closely involved with music during his compulsory detention in the Warsaw ghetto, where he organised concerts, for instance. The music of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy meant a great deal to him and to other members of the audience at the time, and was a source of consolation and encouragement.
But it is not for this reason that the jury selected him as a prize winner in 2011; rather, because his experiences shaped him into a man for whom one of the most pressing concerns has been to foster contacts between people of different backgrounds and world views, an ambition of which he has remained a persistent advocate.
This endeavour was honored in Israel when, through the efforts of the Friends of Tel Aviv University, the Marcel Reich-Ranicki Chair in German Literature was established there in 2006: an outstanding tribute to the man. These ideals are absolutely in the tradition of Moses Mendelssohn and his grandson, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy.
Prof. Marcel Reich-Ranicki is honoured in the ‘Social commitment’ category.