Stuttgart/Berlin, 27 May 2021 -The internationally lauded pianist and university professor Igor Levit is honoured with the “ifa Award for the Dialogue of Cultures 2021” by ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen). The award will be presented during a festive ceremony at the Allianz Forum Pariser Platz in Berlin on 14 September 2021. Claudia Roth, Vice-President of the German Bundestag, will deliver the laudatory speech. The patron of the award is the Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, Heiko Maas.
From the statement of the award jury:
“The jury was deeply impressed by his committed political and social involvement: by the unwavering stance and personal courage he demonstrates when offering resistance to
right-wing extremism, anti-Semitism and racism. Levit – like only a few other contemporary
artists – knows how to move the hearts of people with his art, and also with his political message, encouraging them to lead an open dialogue with the aim to understand other people’s positions and to nurture communication. During a time when liberal democracy and its message of individuality and freedom are under immense pressure, this appears to be more important than ever.”
Since 2009, ifa under the patronage of the Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs has honoured individuals and institutions for outstanding achievements fostering the dialogue of cultures with their committed social, socio-political or artistic involvement. The award was previously presented as the “Theodor Wanner Award” in honour of the founder of the Deutsches Ausland-Institut, which preceded today’s ifa.
Awardees over the past years included Federica Mogherini, former High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy; Daniel Barenboim, General Music Director of the Staatsoper Berlin; Carla Del Ponte, former Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague; Jacques Delors, former President of the European Commission; the theologian Ernesto Cardenal; the artist Yoko Ono; Human Rights Watch, and Queen Silvia of Sweden. The award is endowed with a grant of €10,000 for the benefit of a charity organisation selected by the awardee. From this year onwards, the institute presents the award in memory of Theodor Wanner under the new title “ifa Award for the Dialogue of Cultures”.
ifa President Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Ulrich Raulff:
“We have presented our award to persons of outstanding merit for more than 10 years now, and want to develop it further. Changing its name to ifa Award is only one element in this process. Another aspect is a colloquium that takes place before the award ceremony, where we want to nurture exchange with policymakers, scientists, experts from other fields, and practitioners in particular by talking about connectivity between foreign cultural policy and current domestic cultural life. Particularly in view of developing the award further, I am delighted about this year’s awardee. Igor Levit is almost unparalleled when it comes to representing a progressive music industry – not only considering his musical interpretations, but also in terms of his huge political and social commitment beyond the world of music.”
Additional information: www.ifa.de/en/ifa-award
About the awardee
The New York Times describes Igor Levit as one of the most “important artists of his generation”. Born in Nizhny Novgorod in 1987, Igor Levit moved to Germany with his family when he was eight years old. He completed his piano studies in Hanover with the highest score ever achieved in the university’s history. He is the Artistic Director of the Chamber Music Academy and the festival Standpunkte (Standpoints) at the Heidelberg Spring music festival. In the spring of 2019, he was appointed a Professor of Piano at his alma mater, the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media.
Igor Levit’s awards include “Artist of the Year 2020” of the Gramophone Classical Music Awards and Musical America’s “Recording Artist of the Year 2020”. In November 2020, he was nominated for a Grammy in the category “Best Classical Instrumental Solo”.
ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) is Germany’s oldest intermediary organisation for international cultural relations, having celebrated its centenary in 2017. It promotes a peaceful and enriching coexistence between people and cultures worldwide. ifa supports artistic and cultural exchange in exhibition, dialogue and conference programmes, and it acts as a centre of excellence for international cultural relations. It is supported by the Federal Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany, the State of Baden-Württemberg and its capital Stuttgart.
Kristian Müller, +49 (0)30 4737 2192, mail(at)steinbrennermueller.de
ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen), Press & PR
Guido Jansen-Recken, +49 (0)30 284491 19, presse(at)ifa.de