The award ceremony took place at 4 p.m. on 28 August 2011 at the St. Charles Hall in Meggen, Switzerland.
Maestro Claudio Abbado was presented with the 2010 BELA Award in special recognition of his outstanding contributions to the development of young European musicians and his pursuit of musical excellence within the European Union. In triumphing over boundaries of all kinds he has strengthened the European Union’s cultural presence in the world.The award is in the shape of a baton which sportsmen pass to each other in a relay race. It symbolizes various themes associated with our foundation, above all the idea of mutual striving across generations towards responsibility and excellence within Europe.
Mr Abbado received the award at a ceremony in the St. Charles Hall in Meggen, Switzerland on 28 August at 4 p.m. Dr Manfried Janson, Member of the Board of Trustees, welcomed the guests. The presentation of the award was introduced by Barbara-Maria Monheim, Founder & President of the BELA Foundation. A laudatory greeting was delivered live from Stockholm by Carl Bildt, the Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs and the laudatory speech was made by the Swiss actor, Bruno Ganz. The young Venezuelan conductor Diego Matheuz, who was recently appointed as principle conductor of the Teatro La Fenice in Venice, received a student grant to the value of CHF 10,000, donated by the Ars Europa Foundation and presented by Michael Haefliger, Artistic & Executive Director of the Lucerne Festival. Since 2006 Diego Matheuz has worked on a regular basis together with Claudio Abbado and has, on several occasions, conducted, amongst other orchestras, the Orchestra Mozart, which was founded by Claudio Abbado. The violinist Isabell Faust delighted the audience with her performance of music by J.S. Bach, which formed a beautiful framework to the award ceremony.
The event was followed by a reception on the terrace of the St. Charles Hall to which prominent figures from cultural, economic and political life were invited. After the reception the guests went by boat across the Vierwaldstaettersee to the KKL in Lucerne where the award ceremony was concluded with a concert.