Horst Förster Receives Leipzig's Medal of Honour!

Horst Förster, Honorary Member of the American Liszt Society, Music Director of the Leipzig Academic Orchestra, and well-known as conductor at several Liszt Festivals in Hamilton, Ontario, has been awarded the Medal of Honour by his native city of Leipzig. Dr. Förster founded the orchestra in 1954 with only eight students, and he has guided it through all the changes and difficulties of the times until today. At present it is an independent, semi-professional symphony orchestra combining musicians from the big Leipzig orchestras with music students and amateurs. Ever since its debut in 1981 it has performed six Academic Concerts annually in the Great Hall of the Leipzig Gewandhaus, each concert being sold out across a period of 33 years.

The Leipzig Burgomeister, in his ceremonial address, described the Academic Orchestra as "the third supporting pillar of the musical life of Leipzig, side by side with those of the Gewandhaus and the Radio Symphony Orchestra."

Next season the repertoire will include a rare work by Franz Liszt: the Fantasie and Fugue on "Ad nos, ad salutarem undam", which will be performed on December 15, 2014, in the version for organ and orchestra by Marcel Dupré, played by the resident Gewandhaus organist Michael Schoenheit and the Academic Orchestra. In the final concert of the season Eva Polgar, the first prize winner of the International Los Angeles Franz Liszt Competition for 2013, will be invited to perform in the Gewandhaus with the Leipzig Academic Orchestra under the baton of Horst Förster, a concert that holds the promise of a fruitful collaboration.

From left to right, Dr. Horst Förster and Leipzig Burgomeister Jung />
            <p style=Award Ceremony in Leipzig: Dr. Horst Förster (l) and Burgomeister Jung (r).

First posted March 8, 2014.