Empress Theophano Prize 2022

The Empress Theophano Prize focuses on Art as common ground for mutual understanding between peoples, and awards leading Pianist and Conductor Daniel Barenboim

A living legend of classical music and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, a highly symbolic initiative for building bridges between peoples through culture, are the recipients of this year’s award.

The third Empress Theophano Prize is focused on  Art and is awarded to leading Pianist and Conductor Daniel Barenboim, one of the most influential figures of the international music scene, who has distinguished himself both for his musical work and for his initiatives on issues concerning peace and understanding between peoples.  The Award Ceremony will take place on Tuesday 11 October 2022 in Thessaloniki, at the monument of the Rotunda, a symbol of multiculturalism and the intersection of peoples. Η.Ε. the President of the Hellenic Republic Ms Katerina Sakellaropoulou and the Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis will honour the event with their presence and they will address a greeting.

Following the themes of Education and Science for the Common Good, and the awarding of the prize to the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen for the ERASMUS student exchange programme (2020), and the pair of scientists who developed the first vaccine against the novel coronavirus, Dr Uğur Şahin and Dr Özlem Türeci (2021), this year’s prize aims to highlight the role of Art in intercultural dialogue, in the figure of a legend of music and a great thinker of political and human collaboration, Daniel Barenboim. After seven decades on a mythical journey as an artist, his action has been linked to pioneering projects for peace, art, and supporting young artists: his greatest initiative is the creation of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, a classical music orchestra that consists of Israelis and Palestinians, known globally, for which he has received the title of Messenger of Peace from the United Nations.

A few weeks before the award ceremony, Maestro Daniel Barenboim stated, “It is an honour for me to receive this award on behalf of the musicians of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, since it is they who, through their participation in the orchestra, set an example of openness, dialogue and a strong will to listen to the narrative of the “other”. […] The “Divan” musicians show outstanding courage and vision by coming together every year to tirelessly send out a call for dialogue and mutual understanding. It is in this spirit that I am personally very grateful for the recognition of our work through such a symbolic prize as the Empress Theophano Award”. An eight-member ensemble of musicians from the Orchestra will attend the Award Ceremony alongside the Maestro. They will perform as part of the event’s programme, in a powerfully symbolic initiative.

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