The Helena Vaz da Silva European Award was established in 2013 by Europa Nostra and its country representation in Portugal, Centro Nacional de Cultura, in cooperation with the Clube Português de Imprensa.
The Helena Vaz da Silva European Award recognises European citizens who have promoted Europe’s heritage and ideals through literary or musical works, news articles, photographs, cartoons, films and radio and/or television programmes.
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Fabiola GIANOTTI, European top particle physicist from Italy and the first woman appointed Director-General of CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) is the winner of the Helena Vaz da Silva European Award for Raising Public Awareness on Cultural Heritage 2019. This high European recognition pays tribute to Gianotti’s unique contribution to disseminating scientific culture in an attractive and accessible way.
Special Mention to Kasper Holten
A Jury’s Special Mention was given to the Royal Danish Theatre Director Kasper Holten for tirelessly addressing to the public the importance of becoming a well-informed and enlightened individual through the understanding of our cultural heritage.
In both his artistic work and in management, Kasper Holten has actively promoted and developed cross-European collaborations and partnerships. His efforts to put the performing arts back into the central discourse of society have reached out to new audience groups. Kasper Holten’s work has always been about collaborations and about a never-ending ambition to reinterpret and actively engage with our cultural heritage, promoting qualities such as risk-taking and creativity.
Kasper Holten has been the director of The Royal Danish Theatre since 2018. Prior, he has set up more than 75 operas, plays and musicals in several European countries as well as in the United States, Russia, Israel, Australia, Argentina, China and Japan. He has orchestrated on leading stages such as the Vienna State Opera, the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Teatro alla Scala in Milan and the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. His latest promotions include West Side Story at Malmö Opera (2018) and Carmen at the Festival of Bregenz (2017-18). He was appointed artistic director of the Royal Danish Opera in 2000 at the age of 26, a post he held for 11 years, and oversaw the opening of the Opera at Holmen. In the years 2003-2006, he instructed the setup of Richard Wagner’s Nibelungens Ring at The Royal Theatre, the first since 1912. Between 2011 and 2016, Holten was Director of Opera at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London. He has previously been a member of the State Music Council, the Radio and Television Board and Vice Chairman of Opera Europe. In 2006 he was appointed adjunct professor at Copenhagen Business School.