On 24 September, the European Culture Prize took place for the first time in Switzerland with a gala evening hosted by the Tonhalle. Receiving the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich’s Prize as one of eleven international cultural ambassadors, Paavo Järvi said “A symphony orchestra is a good example of how we could model our society: 32 nationalities are represented here, highly talented, professional and full of respect. It has never been more important for me as an Estonian to be a European than in these times.”

Paavo Järvi and the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich performed and accompanied fellow prize recipients Nigel Kennedy, Sir Bryn Terfel, Sol Gabetta, Camille Nylund, Yellow and Die Toten Hosen in a star studded event that embraced all cultural genres.

“By choosing the Tonhalle Zurich as the venue this year, we wanted to set a special accent in the Alpine republic, which is not a member of the EU, but which certainly makes an important contribution to European culture,” said Bernhard Reeder, chairman of the board of the European Cultural Forum. “The Tonhalle helps shape the musical life of the city and the country, but is also known for its high artistic and tonal standards. We wanted to carry both of these into the world with the musical spirit of the city.”

Watch the complete prize ceremony on YouTube.