Irish superstar Ronan Keating on the red carpet at the European Culture Award Gala 2024; Credit: Jazmin Campbell /

On the evening of Friday 7 June 2024, the Philharmonie Luxembourg hosted the European Culture Award (Europäischer Kulturpreis) Gala for the first time.

There was a full house for this glamorous gala evening, with guests donning their best tuxedos and cocktail dresses. Among them were the Grand Duke and the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg. The event kicked off with the stars of the show - including Irish signer-songwriter Ronan Keating - making an appearance on the red carpet in the lobby.

The awards ceremony itself, which lasted about three hours, took place in the Grand Auditorium. The musical programme included works by Luxembourg's Dicks (Edmond de la Fontaine) and Austria's Josef Strauss, among others - all beautifully brought to life by the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra. Joining the orchestra on stage (not once, but twice) was Irish superstar Ronan Keating who performed “If Tomorrow Never Comes” and “When You Say Nothing At All”. Tali was also among those to perform alongside the orchestra, with her Eurovision song “Fighter”.

This year’s prize winners were (in order of appearance):

  • the Vienna Boys’ Choir (Wiener Sängerknaben) and the Vienna Girls’ Choir (Wiener Chormädchen) who received the European youth award;
  • Georgian-born German violinist Lisa Batiashvili for promoting young talent;
  • Mexican-French operatic tenor, stage director and TV personality (to name but a few) Rolando Villazón for music promotion;
  • Ronan Keating for music- in his acceptance speech the Irish star described culture as “gratitude for all we have” and “responsibility for what we been given”, as well as an awareness, compassion for others’ beliefs, and “understanding how different we all are” and celebrating this;
  • former Luxembourg Prime Minister and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker for politics;
  • Stretton Society E.V. Berlin who received the European initiative award;
  • Egyptian soprano Fatma Said for music;
  • German-Luxembourgish radio and TV presenter Frank Elstner (Radio Luxembourg) in recognition of his life’s work;
  • the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra (orchestra award);
  • Mexican conductor Alondra de la Parra who was conducting the Luxembourg Philharmonic throughout the evening (conductor award);
  • Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg for her social commitment- the Grand Duchess dedicated her award to all those women who have been “forgotten”, who are “invisible” and who “no one wants to defend”, linking in with her work supporting vulnerable women (and children), including through her initiative Stand Speak Rise Up!

Among those presenting the awards were: Tali; German TV host Frauke Ludowig; German singer and actress Jeanette Biedermann (to Ronan Keating with whom she sang "We've Got Tonight" in 2002); Luxembourgish politician Viviane Reding (to Jean-Claude Juncker); German journalist Nikolaus Blome; German singer-songwriter Adel Tawil; actress and singer-songwriter Enya Elstner (who presented the award to her father Frank); Luxembourgish chef Léa Linster; Theater Chemnitz director Dr Christoph Dittrich; French actor and writer Claude Frisoni (to Grand Duchess Maria Teresa).

The speeches took place mostly in German (with a few in English/French) and the event was co-hosted by German author and moderator Axel Brüggemann and German fashion model and actress Barbara Meier. It ended with a huge round of applause and a standing ovation.

The next edition of the European Culture Award Gala will take place in Chemnitz in Germany in 2025.