“The secret of happiness is to count the highlights of life instead of birthdays.”
(Mark Twain)

I take these true words to heart, especially this year. And throughout the wonderful highlights I can look back on today, I was also accompanied by numerous people – some stayed for just a bit, others are still by my side for several decades already.

It was and is a great pleasure for me to see how many people thought of me today and how many congratulations reached me today on my birthday.

This is just a small glimpse of all the kind and heartfelt words that I was able to enjoy today:

Elena Kalistratova

With all my heart I wish you all the best for your new year of life! Your way of life can be a worthy example for younger generations.

Thanks to you and your global idea of bringing the people in the world into contact with each other through the international language of music, through choral singing and making music together, a very great contribution has been made worldwide.

INTERKULTUR has been fulfilling a high cultural-political task, one could say a mission, under your leadership for many years. Together with your international team you have succeeded in building new bridges, promoting international cultural and human relations, opening new horizons and perspectives for choral music and contributing to peace in the world.

I remember very well a sentence of the Russian Minister of Culture at our meeting in Moscow during the preparation of the WCG in Sochi 2016 – “Everything that is destroyed by politics must be repaired and restored by culture.”

This statement perfectly captures the mission of INTERKULTUR as well as your personal values and views. You have “infected”, inspired, convinced and brought together so many people into a large network that supports you and your ideas, be it projects like the World Choir Games, the European Choir Games, but also many other international choir festivals and competitions that multiply and spread all over the world.

Everything in life is predetermined, including our meeting. I am very grateful to fate for the opportunity to bring the WCG 2016 to Russia with you and your team and to hold it in the beautiful resort town of Sochi by the Black Sea. It was a very exhausting but at the same time a unique and extraordinary project that people still think back to with great enthusiasm and gratitude. It was a great international contribution to the development of choral art in Russia.

I wish you and your family continuing good health, strength, tolerance and belief in the best, that even difficult times are given to us for experience and reflection. With positive thinking we have managed many things together in the past, we will manage even more in the future!

Marc Moreno

The joy is very great because in my life I had the luck to meet you years ago. It is not only a good friendship that we keep and cherish, but a sign. There are many beautiful moments that we have enjoyed and that we will be enjoying, but attached are a few photos where we put heart and soul in our activities. Yes, not only tie and collar suits us, but also a sailing outfit. And especially at sea the word friendship is very much appreciated. This will continue to be the case Günter, and we will make sure that every now and then we take a moment to be true to ourselves again. It is a gift to be able to share this with you.

My family, Sabine, Lissi, Arya and my partner Joan send you best wishes from Spain.

Dirk and Astrid Gliese

Dear Günter,

you celebrate your 75th birthday – hard to believe.

Congratulations on this special day.

Birthdays remind us that time does not stand still. They give us an occasion to look back, to rejoice in what we have achieved and to set new goals for the future. You can look back with pride on your successful work. Years that were characterized by courage, perseverance and tremendous creative power – especially during the last year of the Corona crisis. I thank you for the fact that I have been allowed to tread this path of yours for so long; that Astrid and I are friendly connected to you and Qin.

For the new year of life, we wish you above all health, strength and happiness.

We hope that 2021 will bring some normality soon so that you can achieve all your goals again. I am sure that we will also master all problems together in the future. I have often marveled at the calmness with which you have found solutions. We therefore wish you continued encounters with people who mean a lot to you and that your work will also make them believe in the ability of development in the future.


  • The future is made of ideas
  • Anyone who preserves the ability to recognize beauty never grows old (Franz Kafka)
  • Our true power dwells in the heart, mind and soul and for every minute you laugh, your life is extended by an hour (Chinese Wisdom)

With this in mind, all the best again for the new year of your life.

The Sports Consultancy – Robert, Sian, Josh, Matt, Fraser, Tim

Dear Günter

Happy 75th Birthday from all of us at The Sports Consultancy! We have so enjoyed working with you over these past years, on both sides of the table, and we wish you every success and happiness in this special year and the years to come!

We have such admiration and respect for the movement that you have created and grown and we see the joy that choral singing brings to communities around the world.

With best wishes

Kalman Strausz

Dear Günter!

I would like to wish you on your 75th birthday all the best, good health, and much success in the international choir life! I hope that in the future the choirs all over the world can come together again and sing together in your organization!

Diana Civle

Dear Guenter, my dear friend!

Only great ideas move the world forward. You are a great person with a great idea – you unite singers from all over the world, proving that singing together unites nations.

Your name is written on the pages of Riga’s history with the World Choir Games in 2014, the European Choir Games in 2017, when the capital of Latvia experienced a miracle of singing together with choirs from all over the world.

I am grateful to you for the opportunity to be part of your large INTERKULTUR family. May all your favourite songs from all over the world resound on your special day!

Hans-Hermann Rehberg

Dear Günter,

with my congratulations on your 75th birthday, I bow to you and your life’s work.

You and your team have succeeded over 30 years in bringing together fabulous choirs from all continents and the diversity of cultures. You have created encounters that are both a unique international showcase and a symbol for an unprecedented global exchange and international understanding.

All the competitions I was able to experience – especially the World Choir Games – were a source of inspiration for me. The energy and enthusiasm of the many young ensembles from all over the world and their mostly excellent performances have also radiated onto my work in Berlin. So it is gratifying that for some years now there has been a good and fruitful collaboration between INTERKULTUR and the Rundfunkchor Berlin. The Sing Along Concert “On Tour” and the Fest der Chorkulturen are examples of this.

You and INTERKULTUR are a unique example for a global choral movement. Strong, emotional and moving moments all over the world are to be thanked to your intensive untiring work. For this my great appreciation goes to you. Thank you for your friendship and the good cooperation.

I feel very connected to you, your work and the work of INTERKULTUR!

Kind regards and good wishes

Alexander Solovyev

Dear Günter,

I warmly congratulate you on your significant anniversary!

For more than 30 years, INTERKULTUR under your leadership has been at the forefront of holding the largest choral meetings, uniting all in the orbit of the choral performing arts!

Thanks to your organizational and creative efforts, since 2000 the World Choir Games have become an amazing point of attraction where the musical language has become a universal way of communication, manifestation of goodwill, revelation of creative potential and inspiration for new artistic achievements for hundreds of creative groups!

Time has shown that the evaluation system for adjudicating in numerous categories by authoritative experts from various national institutions invited by you is absolutely convincing. This allows you to objectively identify the strongest choirs and encourage amateur groups to grow professionally.

The concept you have developed for systematically holding meetings of the World Choir Council, at which representatives of almost one hundred countries are delegated, provides an opportunity to comment on urgent problems of the development of choral art in their countries, as well as to quickly exchange experiences, methods and repertoire – all this is extremely important for the professional choral world community. Even a year limited by the possibility of face-to-face communication due to the pandemic was not wasted on advice, did not prevented us from long-distance contacts and, most importantly, it exposed the much-needed exchange of information and performance between colleagues from different parts of the world.

Let your ideas multiply and almost all plans implemented!

Good health, well-being of the family, good mood and optimism!