Philharmonie Luxembourg; Credit: Wade Zimmerman

In 2024, Luxembourg will host the European Culture Award (Europäischer Kulturpreis) Gala for the first time, with the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra (OPL) featuring among the prize winners.

On 7 June 2024, the Philharmonie in Luxembourg-Kirchberg will host the European Culture Award Gala. This award is considered one of the most important in Europe: in addition to artistic ability, the focus is on the broad social commitment of the respective award winners.

"In Luxembourg, the European spirit lives from free culture, from humanity, humanism and cosmopolitanism," said Bernhard Reeder, Chairman of the European Cultural Forum (Europäische Kulturforum), explaining the choice of location. "We are very pleased that we can be guests in one of the most modern concert halls in Europe. In doing so, we are continuing our tradition of awarding the prizes in cultural metropolises with a special appeal."

"Luxembourg is a country where many nations and cultures are united and around half of the residents originally come from another country or another continent," added Stephan Gehmacher, Director General of the Philharmonie Luxembourg. "This diversity of society inspires us as an orchestra and enables us to think far beyond the often narrow boundaries of classical music in our programming."

As part of the award's focus on female power, Mexican conductor (and Berliner by choice) Alondra de la Parra will make her debut at the European Culture Award Gala, accompanied by the OPL - the hosts who will receive the award that evening. "When I started conducting, it bothered a lot of people that I was a woman," recalled 43-year-old Alondra de la Parra. "It has now become accepted that music needs both female and male energy, and the most important thing is that we tell a story together through music."

The Vienna Girls' Choir (Wiener Chormädchen), which has served as the female counterpart of the 525-year-old Vienna Boys' Choir (Wiener Sängerknaben) for the past 20 years, is also a first-time guest. Both choirs will receive the European Young Talent Award 2024 for their contribution to equal opportunities in culture. "We are very pleased about this honour. It represents recognition of our efforts to continually develop these two wonderful choirs," said Erich Arthold, President of the Vienna Boys' Choir, who is also responsible for the Vienna Girls' Choir.

Regarding the programme design, Bernhard Reeder explained: "Our approach is to break down the traditional concept of culture across generations." He elaborated: "We bring together musical artists who rarely meet on a concert stage: not only Die Toten Hosen and the Scorpions [two German rock bands], but also the [German pop-rock] band Silbermond performed with renowned orchestras. [...] It must be our joint task to introduce young audiences to classics, to get them excited about tradition and yet dare to try something new."

The European Culture Award honours personalities, initiatives, artists, politicians and institutions for their outstanding merits and achievements around and for Europe and the people of Europe. The aim of the European Cultural Forum as organiser is to promote friendship between European peoples, to help shape a modern concept of culture and to link different genres with one another.

Tickets for the 2024 European Culture Award Gala, which is taking place at the Philharmonie Luxembourg on Friday 7 June 2024 at 19:00, are available online from the Europäischer Kulturpreis website or from the Philharmonie Luxembourg website. Ticket prices start from €79.