Belgium, (*1943, † 2014)
Gerard Mortier was awarded the Goethe Medal posthumously. The Goethe-Institut honoured the opera director, who passed away in March, as a singular European cultural protagonist and daring innovator in music theatre. Lehmann highlighted that he always influenced the German opera and cultural scene in central positions. Born in Ghent in 1943, Mortier, who studied law and communications, held positions including those of manager and artistic director of the Salzburg Festival and the Ruhrtriennale. He always aimed to enthuse a young audience in particular for opera. The decision to honour Gerard Mortier with the Goethe Medal was made before his passing; he received the news gladly. Sylvain Cambreling, his long-time companion, accepted the award on his behalf. Cambreling is presently the music director of the Stuttgart Opera and Principal Conductor of the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra Tokyo. In her laudatory speech for Gerard Mortier, Nike Wagner, director of the Bonn Beethovenfest, characterized his work as visionary, and the man as a world citizen. “The fearlessness with which Mortier acted merely from the impetus of the man of arts, of the artist director, was as impressive as it was spectacular,” said Wagner.