"Music connects us" – this realization, which is today almost taken for granted, does not always receive the attention it deserves. With its 11th NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition, the Bertelsmann Stiftung once again demonstrates the importance of music in bringing people together.The final round of competition is held in Gütersloh from October 17 through 23, 2005. The event is characterized by a collegial atmosphere among the 43 contestants from 19 different countries. "These talented young singers are role models for many today, and they share the firm belief that encounters with people from other backgrounds and cultures enrich the lives of all," says Liz Mohn, president of the competition.
In 2005, more than 1,200 young opera talents from 60 nations participate in the competition.Between May and September, 21 preliminary rounds are held in cities around the world including Berlin, Buenos Aires, Chicago, Cape Town, London, Moscow, Munich, New York, Beijing, Sydney and Yokosuka (Japan).This marks the second time in a row that the Bertelsmann Stiftung's € 10,000 prize goes to Argentina.Russian tenor Alexey Kudrya takes second place, winning € 7,500. He is the only male singer to make it to the final round.Soprano Anna Aglatova, who also hails from Moscow, clinches third place, which comes with an award of € 6,000.The remaining four prizes of € 3,000 each go to Canadian Jane Archibald, Jurgita Adamonyte from Lithuania, Emma Vetter from Sweden and Chinese singer Xiaolin Zhou, winner of the audience award in the semifinals.
20th German-Jewish Dialogue on "Current perspectives and challenges for Europe and the Jewish community"
The purpose of the German-Jewish Dialogue is to promote understanding between policymakers in Germany and representatives of the Jewish community worldwide.For the last 13 years, the Bertelsmann Stiftung and London-based publisher Lord George Weidenfeld have regularly invited Jewish persons of renown from all over the world for confidential talks.These discussions with prominent representatives of the German government, the business community, culture and the media have become an instrument for building trust.The foundation's goal is to provide an authentic way to approach topics currently being discussed in Germany.In addition, participants have the opportunity to share their views on global developments in Jewish culture and the self-concept of the Jewish community in Germany.They also analyze the situation in Israel and the Middle East.
Opening event of the Demographic Change Forum, held under the auspices of German President Horst Köhler
In cooperation with the Bertelsmann Stiftung, the German president's Demographic Change Forum holds its second annual conference at Bellevue Palace on December 5 and 6, 2006.The conference centers on the Generation Y, the children of the baby boomers, who were born between 1985 and 1995.Significant challenges await the members of this generation when their parents start to retire.In addition to caring for the large population of baby boomers, they will be expected to launch their careers, start families of their own and invest their time and energy in volunteer work in the interest of social cohesion.Conditions for meeting those challenges are favorable, since the Millenials, the "echo boomer" generation, are also a relatively large cohort.Today's young people are prepared to devote a great deal of effort to finding their place in society, and they are willing to assume responsibility.However, they are also experiencing increasing demands in the labor market and finding it difficult to plan their future, given today's globalized markets.
2005 International Cultural Forum in New Delhi
In the global village, Europe and India are forced to communicate and compete in a world marked by increasing pluralism.Differing values and lifestyles call our own identities into question.Notable developments include the loss of jobs to offshoring, an increase in the importance of Indian culture in Europe, as demonstrated by the success of Bollywood productions, and international solidarity, as seen in the aftermath of the tsunami disaster.Both of these cultural regions face similar challenges:Internally, there is growing pressure to integrate diverse cultures and ethnicities.We also need to find ways to respond to an increase in religiously and ethnically motivated intolerance, which is putting long-standing secular values to the test.Externally, Europe and India are subject to similar global forces,as their security is threatened by religious fundamentalism and international terrorism.The war in Iraq has deeply divided the world and led to further terrorist attacks in Asia and Europe.
Establishment of the Liz Mohn Foundation for Culture and Music
The Liz Mohn Foundation for Culture and Music pursues objectives that are exclusively and immediately for the public benefit.Its aim is to promote art and culture, particularly music, as well as education and international understanding.The foundation’s primary focus is music,with special emphasis on providing support for young opera singers and music education.The Liz Mohn Foundation for Culture and Music also seeks to promote understanding between children and young people from different cultural backgrounds.It is currently providing support for the Opera Studio of Unter den Linden State Opera in Berlin and its participants.In addition, it helps to fund the Gütersloh Boys' Choir.