Berlin, 19 November 2008 - On 18 November 2008, the Austrian Ambassador to Berlin, Dr. Christian Prosl, presented Peter Sauerbaum with the Grand Badge of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria at a formal reception at the Austrian Embassy. The guest list included numerous representatives from the world of art and academic circles.
Peter Sauerbaum has rendered outstanding services in both Germany and Austria in multifarious ways by promoting Austrian culture and artists. His commitment focused on intensifying cooperation between the federal theatres in Vienna and Berlin. During his work at the German Opera Berlin, for instance, he succeeded in enlisting the services of the director of the Vienna State Opera as artistic adviser to the German Opera in Berlin.
In his function as head of the cultural department of the largest Jewish community in Berlin, which has 12,000 members, and head of the Jewish Culture Days festival, Peter Sauerbaum also realised numerous projects between the two countries. One example is the exhibition "Arthur Schnitzler - Affairs and Affects", which was shown in 2007 at Berlin’s Kulturhaus, but which was originally taken over from the Vienna Theatre Museum. Peter Sauerbaum was also active in the International Mauthausen Forum (which is subordinate to Austria’s Ministry of the Interior), supporting and developing this memorial since its very foundation.
Born in 1945 in Halle an der Saale, Peter Sauerbaum started his career in the cultural department of Berlin’s city administration before becoming director and later general manager of the Berlin Ensemble. From 2002 to 2004 he was commercial director of the German Opera Berlin. Since the 2006/2007 season he has been director of the Brandenburg State Orchestra in Frankfurt, and has consistently continued his close cooperation with the Austrian cultural circles in this function as well.
Austrian Embassy Berlin