The 2013 City of Leipzig’s Bach Medal has been awarded to German conductor and tenor Peter Schreier. He will be presented with the medal by the Mayor of Leipzig as part of this year’s Bachfest Leipzig in June.
The jury, consisting of Bachfest’s artistic directors and other leading music professionals and academics, decided to award Schreier with this year’s medal, saying: ‘In Peter Schreier, we are honouring an extraordinarily versatile performer. His interpretations of Bach’s Evangelists rank among the milestones in Bach interpretations in the twentieth century.
‘He has also set standards as a conductor of Bach’s Passions, the Christmas Oratorio and a variety of orchestral works. In times of divided political and musical worlds, Schreier was a cogent ambassador and bridge-builder between the East and West.’
Born in Saxony in 1935, Schreier began his musical career at a young age. As a young boy Schreier joined the Dresden Boys’ Choir, where his vocal talents were recognised by musical director Rudolf Mauersberger.
As well as having a successful career as a tenor, Schreier has also worked with many ensembles as a conductor, including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Hamburg Symphonic Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.
The winner of last year’s City of Leipzig’s Bach Medal was musical director of Bach Collegium Japan, Masaaki Suzuki. Other recipients include Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Ton Koopman, Sir John Eliot Gardiner and Gustav Leonhardt.