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Culture award (Sulzbach-Rosenberg)



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awarded by the town of Sulzbach-Rosenberg

The formal address given by Oswald Heimbucher is printed in the small pamphlet " Celebrated throughout the world, yet serving in the province" which is published by Michael Laßleben, Lange Gasse 19, 93183 Kallmünz (ISBN 3 7874 1130 8)

Opening address given by the 1st mayor, Mr. Hans Göth

Within the few years that have passed since the prize for cultural achievement was established by the municipal council, the awarding of this prize has become an event that we wouldn't want to do without any more, especially not in view of its importance for the development of the community. The general public, too, is well aware of its importance, as can be seen in the lively discussions about worthy candidates that might be eligible for the prize.

The group of distinguished prize holders, namely Professor Walter Höllerer, Professor Manes Sperber, and our historian Hanns Binder , will today be expanded by a world-renowned musician who sought and found a field of endeavor in our town. Eleven years ago, Adolf Scherbaum already received a highly esteemed award, the Nordgau Culture Prize, right in this very same town hall.

The ties that were established on this occasion have not only lasted ever since, but have been strengthened intensively by his teaching engagement at our town's music school, which he took up on his own volition.

The awarding of cultural achievement prizes also creates highlights in the history of a town. It does not only enhance the prestige of the honored celebrity, but also reflects favorably back on the awarding town whose prestige is also enhanced, and this helps to develop a sense of cultural pride and identity in future generations.

On behalf of the municipal council, and in the name of the entire population of the town of Sulzbach-Rosenberg, I herewith congratulate you, Professor Scherbaum, on being awarded this prize and wish you good luck and plenty of strength for your future efforts in our town, and above all, good health.

Reply of the prize winner

Distinguished congregation, ladies and gentlemen!

It is with tremendous joy that I stand here in this old town hall, laden with tradition, this truly precious jewel of this town, to receive the cultural achievement award.

I perceive it as a special honor that you are presenting this prize to me after having awarded it first to a representative of the natural sciences, then to a representative of the arts, followed by a representative of local history, and now to me, as a representative of music, an art that is understood universally throughout the world, across all borders, unimpeded by language barriers.

I still remember precisely the time in 1968 when I first walked through this town on the occasion of the Nordgau-Day: even though my stay was only brief, I immediately liked the town and felt at home in it. Thus it was almost unavoidable that I attempted to establish contacts which have turned into solid ties in the meantime. But I also feel compelled to pay my respect to the local chamber orchestra and its conductor. This is because as one who had the privilege to be able to offer my services to some of the best orchestras of the world and under some of the most renowned conductors, I immediately sensed the tremendous enthusiasm and the strong determination of this non-professional orchestra to reach the best performance quality that can be achieved.

For this reason, allow me to give you an honest appraisal: Sulzbach-Rosenberg can count itself lucky to have people who play music motivated by nothing other than pure idealism and pure joy.

When the director of the municipal music school, Mr. Oswald Heimbucher, who meanwhile has become a close friend of mine, asked me several years ago whether I might consider to teach the trumpet class, I immediately agreed, because it allowed me to continue to play my beloved music. And I gladly dedicated myself to the children and youth of this town by teaching them to the best of my ability.

Since I have chosen this town to be my second place of residence, allow me to utter a personal question:

What do you think was it that made me feel at home so quickly here? The secret lies in the people of this town, in their mentality, in their local dialect, a dialect which is very akin to mine, since I was born at Eger, the city once ruled by the Staufen-kings and located in the same northern region (Nordgau) to which Sulzbach-Rosenberg belongs.

Unfortunately I cannot return to my home town of Eger, but this is compensated for by your hospitality which allows me to live in a region which resembles my former home. This made life bearable and
explains why I could assimilate so quickly.

It also explains why I adore your town Sulzbach-Rosenberg, which replaced my previous home town. Here I feel at home, surrounded by its protective walls and its inhabitants, many of whom have become my personal friends.

Allow me to express my deeply felt gratitude to the persons who chose to award the honorable culture prize of the town of Sulzbach-Rosenberg to me. In doing so you not only honor me as a person but you also honor the music that has shaped my entire life.

I thank all of you.

I am grateful to Mr. Rolf Ziegler, Böblingen, for his translation into English.