Sir Simon Rattle, principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic was awarded the GEMA Ehrennadel (badge of honour) today. The award took place in the course of a reception at the Berlin Philharmonic. Cultural Secretary Prof. Monika Grütters MdB (member of the German Parliament) held the laudatory speech.
At 19.00 today, Sir Simon Rattle accepted the GEMA Ehrennadel in the south lounge of the Berlin Philharmonic. About 100 guests attended the celebratory reception. For the latest recipient of the GEMA Ehrennadel the award is “a great honour”. “I am proud to be a part of GEMA”, said Sir Simon Rattle. “GEMA looks after music authors, something that is really important. It may well be nice to hold speeches about big orchestras, but what would we be without the composers? Nothing.” He was going to share this award with his team, Rattle added. “We are a family here”.
Cultural Secretary Prof. Monika Grütters, MdB emphasised Sir Simon Rattle's unique personality in her laudatory speech: “You have pushed open the doors of the Philharmonic and granted access to classical music to people who previously did not know anything or only little about its power and beauty”. Sir Simon Rattle, she said, made Germany as a cultural location “much richer by far. You were not simply satisfied with keeping the Philharmonic at the highest artistic levels, but turned the Philharmonic into an orchestra whose impact is literally pushing the boundaries of any concert hall. Your success gives us hope that with cultural education it will be possible for our society to succeed in doing what is so self-evident in an orchestra: to listen, to feel, to pay attention to other parts, rhythm and tone, loud and quiet voices.”
By awarding Sir Simon Rattle, GEMA honours a brilliant conductor who has been characterising the German and international music scene significantly. Apart from his activity as a conductor, he has also been launching and supporting various projects. Dr Harald Heker, GEMA CEO, stressed the significance of the award recipient’s service and contributions: “With his extraordinary work and creation, Sir Simon Rattle has been setting standards and measures for cultural and social life. He has been doing so for several decades, in an admirably versatile manner.” The numerous projects of the education programme work, originated by Sir Simon Rattle, reflect the work of the Berlin Philharmonic and enable many people to have access to music for the first time. The GEMA Ehrennadel honours this contribution: “He is a magnificent messenger for music and for its significance to mankind. With the Ehrennadel, GEMA would like to thank Sir Simon Rattle for his outstanding work”, Dr Harald Heker added.
GEMA represents the copyright of more than 70,000 members (composers, lyricists and music publishers) in Germany, and more than two million copyright owners globally. It is one of the largest societies for authors of musical works in the world.