Günter Titsch’s engagement regarding international understanding through the means of choral music attracts attention in Germany as well as internationally. Numerous tributes by national cultural organisations testify to hic activities worldwide. The honorary citizenship of Xiamen, the coastal city in the South-East of the People’s Republic of China, which Günter Titsch received in 2009 as that year’s only German citizen, has to be highlighted in particular.
During the closing ceremony of the 1. World Choir Championships for Youth in Graz, Austria in 2011 Titsch was furthermore honored with the Golden Badge of Honor by the Styrian Singer Association in recognition of many years of successful cooperation.
Since the preparations for the World Choir Games 2008 in Graz INTERKULTUR closely cooperates with the Styrian Singers Association. In the future further cooperation that target further choral events are supposed to happen. But also Günter Titsch’s Hessian home country recognized his extraordinary engagement for years.
Thus he was awarded the „Honorary Letter of Appreciation of the Federal State of Hesse“ in 1990. This award is bestowed on persons since 1973 for their long-time voluntary activities such as the participation in cultural or social organisations. Even the Hessian Singers Association praised his engagement for youth choirs.
For his worldwide activities that are supposed to promote choral music, Günter Titsch received numerous distinctions and awards by different countries cities and organisations, amongst them national and international conductor and choral associations.
And even today, twenty years after the founding of INTERKULTUR, Günter Titsch still feels obliged to promote choral music worldwide. In 2011 INTERKULTUR’s work made Vietnam’s first international choir competition ever possible and this event scored a lot of success.
Federal Cross of Merit
On December 18, 2012 Günter Titsch was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. During a ceremony in Wiesbaden Volker Bouffier, Prime Minister of Hesse handed over the honor to the INTERKULTUR President.
Bouffier emphasized “Titsch’s passion for music, especially for singing and for the promotion of choral music on international standards. For more than two decades this passion for music, has been building up the idea of bringing people from different cultures closer together and in direct communication.”
Bouffier praised the INTERKULTUR President for being an “ambassador of music for our country”. His commitment to culture and society of the Federal Republic of Germany had been the central reason for this honor. With great dedication and diligence Titsch had successfully implemented his vision of bringing together people through choral music. Many thousands of music lovers from almost 100 countries had been brought together in peaceful meetings through the life work of Günter Titsch, especially at the World Choir Games, concluded the Prime Minister.
Through his ideas, he had set new standards in the international choral movement, emphasized Ralf Eisenbeiß in his laudatory speech. A visionary like Titsch highly deserved this social appreciation, the Federal Cross of Merit. Eisenbeiß also recognized his energy which had opened a further horizon to choristers in Germany and abroad. The slogan of the World Choir Games “Participation is the highest honor” had always been accompanying choirs as well as employees of INTERKULTUR. Ralf Eisenbeiß is one of INTERKULTUR’s artistic directors.
Honorary Citizen of Xiamen
His engagement regarding the encounter of cultures through the means of music as a common language earned Günter Titsch worldwide recognition. This became explicitly apparent in 2009 when the South Chinese port Xiamen announced INTERKULTUR’s president Honorary Citizen of Xiamen. In China this title is being considered a major honour.
Three years ago 400 international choirs with 20.000 singers travelled in July 2006 to the 4th World Choir Games in Xiamen. With the honorary citizenship the Xiamen’s officials acknowledged Günter Titsch’s engagement regarding the promotion of Xiamen’s reputation worldwide as well as his credits regarding the consolidation and expansion of its international relations. This distinction means a lot to Titsch, especially with respect to the promotion of the German-Chinese relationship.
Similar to Europe, the honorary citizenship includes certain privileges such as free entry to all municipal facilities of the city and the province of Xiamen and access to all relevant urban events and meetings.
Günter Titsch is one of the first Europeans who were announced honorary citizen by the Chinese megacity. In 2009 he was the only German receiving this distinction.
Medal of honour by the Kulturforum Europa
For his long-term engagement regarding culture and international understanding Interkultur president Günter Titsch was awarded the medal of honour by the Kulturforum Europa. Its president Dr. Dieter Topp travelled from Cologne to the Russian city of Sochi and handed the medal of honour over to the organizer of the ongoing World Choir Games throughout a council meeting with choral delegates from over 70 countries. During the ceremony Topp recognised the work of Titsch and Interkultur. In the context of the World Choir Games participants would exemplary live the idea of getting to know each other and to respect other cultures, the president of the Kulturforum mentioned. Titsch thanked him and announced to continue with these important tasks.
Source: Pohlheimer Nachrichten (21.07.2016) Roger Schmidt (translated from German to English)
Honorary Member of the Schubert-Gesellschaft
On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the International Franz Schubert Choir Competition in Vienna INTERKULTUR President Günter Titsch was awarded a special honor: The Schubert-Gesellschaft Wien-Lichtental presented the honorary membership to im in recognition of his contributions to Schubert’s music.
On May 5, 2016 at 5pm the organizers and representatives of participating choirs had gathered in Vienna’s town hall for the Mayor’s traditional reception prior to the competition and attended the festive distinction. “Günter Titsch is an excellent manager and a well-known expert and representative in the international choral scene, who has been awarded several times.”, said laudator Herbert Wild, honorary president of the Austrian Choral Association in his laudatory speech. Futher he said: “We, the board of advisers and the board of trustees of the Schubert-Gesellschaft Wien-Lichtental, like to thank Mr Günter Titsch for his dedication and innovative participation in the International Schubert Competition and in appreciation of his work Mr. Titsch has been selected for the honorary membership of the Schubert Society.”
Accompanied by the audience’s applause Günter Titsch accepted the certificate in person from the vice president of the Schubert-Gesellschaft, Prof. Friedrich Lessky. “I am proud and delighted to receive this honorary membership. After 20 years of collaboration and as a member of the board of trustees I was nominated to by my long-time friend Prof. Friedrich Lessky I feel very close to this association not only in a professional but also personal way.”
There are only a few personalities so far that were awarded a honorary membership of the Schubert-Gesellschaft Wien-Lichtental. Among them are famous people like chamber singer Univ.-Prof. Robert Holl, the Japanese composer and conductor Tatsuji Hajashi, Archbishop Cardinal Dr. Christoph Schönborn and from now on also INTERKULTUR President Günter Titsch.
The International Franz Schubert Choir Competition was organized by the Schubert-Gesellschaft Wien-Lichtental in Vienna since 1986. In 2007 INTERKULTUR has been taking over the organization of the competition in collaboration with the Schubert-Gesellschaft and since then has successfully been organizing it every two years.