To recognize Kurt Masur's extraordinary contributions to the New York Philharmonic and to honor his achievements in helping to develop new conducting talent worldwide, the Board of Directors of the Philharmonic established the Kurt Masur Fund for the Philharmonic within the orchestra's endowment. Click here for more information.

Brieg Festival - "The Understanding":
In April 2002, Maestro Masur returns to his home town region to prepare a concert with the Student Orchestra of the Music Academy Breslaw which will take place at 8:00 PM on April 22, 2002 at the Breslaw Philharmonic Hall. On the program, Beethoven's first symphony and Brahms' first symphony. The concert is organized as part of the Breslaw Music Festival "The Understanding" which Maestro Masur helped create in 1991 to create a bridge of understanding between German and Polish people.

London Proms - September 2002:
Maestro Masur returns to the Royal Albert Hall's Proms with the London Philharmonic Orchestra this season to conduct one performance of Mendelssohn's Elijah on September 1, 2002 at 7:30 PM. For more information on this special concert please consult the BBC's web site.

Kurt Masur in the founder and chairman of the International Mendelssohn Foundation. Chief among the foundation's efforts is the restoration of the Mendelssohn House in Leipzig.

Goldschmidtstr. 12, the house in which Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy last lived and where he died, still stands in the centre of Leipzig. The building, only a stone's throw from the famous Gewandhaus, has survived - if somewhat scarred - both war and economic depression. The International Mendelssohn Foundation e.V. has undertaken to breathe new life into a great cultural inheritance; to restore the house, including the composer and conductor's appartement, and convert it into a lively cultural centre for Leipzig, and for Germany, and which reaches far beyond the boundaries of Europe, uniting friends, patrons, artists and lovers of the arts in creating a House for the World.

The International Mendelssohn Centre aims to revive the "free enlightened spirit" that once roamed in Leipzig. It is planned that the house will act as a bridge between traditional art, that of the present and the art of tomorrow - a cultural centre offering a range of possibilities, for visitors, artists and scholars from all over the world, that will be as lively and enthralling as Leipzig's cultural life in Mendelssohn's time.

Build in 1845, it will be renovated from top to bottom. Great care will be taken with the restoration of the facade on which the decorative detail can still be traced. The Mendalssohn flat on the first floor is to be restored to its original layout. The fine tradition of the Mendelssohn Sonntagmusiken will be resumed in the newly refurbished Music Salon.

This last residence of the Mendelssohns will house not only an up-to-date Mendelssohn archive but also the Gewandhaus Archive that goes back 250 years. And this is also the ideal place to complete the challending task of publishing the entire Mendelssohn oeuvre and provide it with a suitable home.

A gallery serving as an exhibition space runnning down the east side will provide a link between past, present and future, leading to a new wing, intended as part of the cultural facilities, in which a lively international programme can develop, sending its impulses out into the world.

A Literary Cafe, its terrace giving on to the garden, will be open until the early hours.

Bright conference and rehearsal rooms, fully equipped technically, will provide the setting for varions activities: reading, exhibitions, lectures, workshops in which, young artists for instance, can come together in constructive exchanges. Here too new music can be rehearsed and performed, and discussions held, incorporating the views of young people, on aspects of society and culture as we approach the twenty-first century. The rooms can be booked by firms and organisations for seminars and other events.

Finally, the new wing will provide studios for artists and scholars from all over the world whose stay in Leipzig will contribute to the dialogue between nations. All in the spirit of Mendalssohn.

In the past Leigzig was renowned for its splendid gardens. The area to the rear of the old Mendalssohn home, now a rather bleak place, will be again a Biedermeier Garden modelled on the original that was once located there. An inviting place to stroll and chat and exchange ideas.

The Biedermeier Garder, flanked by the Mendelssohn house and the New Wing, will provide a romantic backdrop for summer concerts, encompassing the visitor with the unique atmosphere of this cultural centre.

The funds for this ambitions plan - and this too has no precedent - will come mainly from private sources. Apart from Germany, the International Mandelssohn Foundation e.V. now has members in Japan, the USA, Great Britain, Switzerland, Israel, the Netherlands and Norway.

Thanks to them, and to the spontaneous help of friends and patrons, it has been possible to acquire the land and the building.

Click here to visit the web site of Mendelssohn-Haus Leipzig.