Wolfgang Schüssel Award

In 2007 the International Salzburg Association inaugurated the “Wolfgang Schüssel Award”. This distinction is awarded to an individual with a strong affinity to Salzburg, who has made an extraordinary contribution where commerce, science and culture overlap.

All of this takes place in an open and tolerant society committed to European cultural output. The €20,000 prize is usually awarded every two years and was named after the former Austrian Bundeskanzler, Dr. Wolfgang Schüssel.

Award Winners:

  • Prof. Dr. Peter Ruzicka
  • Senator Prof. DDr. Herbert Batliner †
  • Erzbischof Dr. Alois Kothgasser
  • Dr. Helga Rabl-Stadler
  • Professor Nikolaus Harnoncourt 
Photo R - L: ISA-President Governor Dr. Wilfried Haslauer, prize winner Cecilia Bartoli, laudator Rolando Villazón and retired former Federal Chancellor Dr. Wolfgang Schüssel

Award Ceremony 2018 – Winner Cecilia Bartoli

On the 17th August 2018, the International Salzburg Association honoured Cecilia Bartoli, the Artistic Director of the Whitsuntide Salzburg Festival, by awarding her the “Wolfgang Schüssel Award” for 2018. The globally successful mezzo-soprano has been closely involved with the Salzburg Festival since 1993. She has thrilled audiences with consummate performances every time she has appeared: 54 times in the summer, including operas, evening recitals, solo concerts, and 24 appearances at Whitsuntide.

Cecilia Bartoli has also been the Artistic Director of the Whitsuntide Salzburg Festival since 2012. In this role, with her ideas and interpretations, she has managed to explore new artistic dimensions and arouse even greater international interest in this exquisite festival. In 2018, around 12,400 lovers of classical music from 52 countries of the world were welcomed to the Whitsuntide festival. In his eulogy Rolando Villazón honoured the award winner with the words: “Cecilia’s art is an antidote to a world that would have us believe that faster is always better. She takes her time, and never sounds like she’s just singing from the score. She’s exceptionally talented and I’m a big fan.”

ISA President, Salzburg’s Provincial Governor – Dr. Wilfried Haslauer, explained why Cecilia Bartoli was such a worthy winner: “She is most definitely a major asset to Salzburg. What she achieves with creativity, stamina and emotion is phenomenal, completely drawing in the public and opening ears to the previously unimagined scope for interpretation in works of classical music. Her unforgettable personal interpretations of Bellini’s opera ‘Norma’ or her current version of Rossini’s opera L´italiana in Algeri never fail to capture the hearts of the audience. Former Austrian Bundeskanzler, Dr. Wolfgang Schüssel, who gave his name to the award, had the honour of handing over the sculpture made by the Salzburg ceramics artist Gerold Tusch to Cecilia Bartoli. This work of art was based on baroque cloud ornaments – creating the illusion of motion. Producing such a fine work of art was a challenge for Tusch, some of whose ceramic creations have been over two metres tall.

Ildar Abdrazakov dropped to his knees to serenade the award winner. Among the guests attending the award ceremony at the Haus für Mozart were: The eponymous Austrian ex-chancellor. Dr. Wolfgang Schüssel, the ISA Vice-President Dr.-Ing. Dieter Soltmann (Honorary President for the Industry and Commerce Chamber for Munich and Upper Bavaria) and Senator Konsul Dkfm. Dr. Wolfgang Porsche, Mayor DI Harald Preuner, fellow “Wolfgang Schüssel Award”-winner – Festival President Dr. Helga Rabl-Stadler, gallery owner – Thaddaeus Ropac, Markus Hinterhäuser (Artistic Director – Salzburg Festival), bestselling author Hera Lind, Dr. Michael Schineis (President of Winter Sports Equipment Amer Sports), Hofrat Marko Feingold, filmmaker Reinhard Schwabenitzky and many more.