“Audi Art Experience”: Always One Step Ahead in Matters Cultural, Too

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June 25, 2004

Source: Audi Art Experience

  • AUDI AG supporting the “European College of Arts” development scheme – scholarships for talented artists
  • Partnership with the University of Arts in Berlin and the media entrepreneur Christiane zu Salm
  • Audi Art Experience brackets together the company’s experience and expertise in the promoting of art and culture

    Cultural sponsorship has long been an integral aspect of cultural life. The involvement of AUDI AG has been paving the way for superlative artistic and creative achievements for many years now, and encouraging artists to embark upon innovative projects. The experience and expertise of the brand with the four rings in the domain of promoting art and culture, for example in the form of the “Salzburg Festival”, the “Summer Concerts” or the partnership with the Bavarian State Opera, have recently been bracketed together under the label “Audi Art Experience”. This now also includes the “European College of Arts” in Berlin, a development scheme for talented artists from seven European states.

    “We are thrilled by this project. The main reason for our involvement in the European College of Arts is that in both industry and the arts, the promotion of highly talented young people is the cornerstone of a successful future,” explained Stephan Grühsem, Head of Communication at AUDI AG. “As the founder sponsor, Audi is paving the way for promising talents to reach the public of a new Europe, and is thus underscoring the intention of Audi Art Experience to be always one step ahead in matters cultural, too,” he added.

    The project is a joint initiative by the car manufacturer, the Berlin University of Arts and the media entrepreneur Christiane zu Salm. Ambitious artists – from disciplines ranging from the plastic arts, through design, to music – receive the award and a scholarship, and are able to spend seven months living and working in Berlin, as well as two months at Audi’s Ingolstadt base.

    The European College of Arts is initially focusing on seven countries from Northern, Eastern, Southern and Western Europe in the selection process for its students: Finland, France, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Poland. Further European countries will gradually follow. The embassies of each country are involved in the preliminary selection of the candidates via their cultural attachés, each putting forward three artists.

    A high-ranking jury will then select the first three students from this field of 21 candidates; the successful three will commence their artistic work in Berlin from the start of 2005.

    The patron is Dr. Christina Weiss, German Minister of State for Culture and the Media. The members of the jury are the dynamic artist Rebecca Horn, the painter and sculptor Markus Lüpertz, the conductor Kent Nagano, the composer Aribert Reimann and Walter Maria de’Silva, Head of Audi brand group design (Audi, Seat and Lamborghini).

    The chief designer explains: “Design represents the combination of creativity with what is technically feasible. In the world in which I have been working for many years, we cross over between the realms of art, ideas and technology for professional reasons. It is becoming increasingly important to find young people with new ideas of their own. So I agreed immediately when I was invited to be a member of this jury.”

    Through the European College of Arts and its creative talents, who will also be working in Ingolstadt, Audi would like to build a bridge between industrial work, mobility, advanced technology and artistic reflection. Grühsem explains: “This project is a very exciting idea that could help us and the young artists to identify new links between the spheres of industry and art.”

    Audi’s promotion of art and culture at a glance

    Audi brackets together its activities in the field of promoting art and culture under the label “Audi Art Experience”. AUDI AG regards the promotion of the arts as an important element of the social responsibility that it consciously acknowledges as an employer of some 53,000 people. AUDI AG’s support for culture dates back to the financial support it provided for various foreign tours by the Munich Philharmonic under their conductor Sergiu Celibidache in 1985. This was joined by a further sponsorship in 1986, with the establishment of the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival. Audi sponsored the internationally regarded Glyndebourne Festival Opera in 2000 and 2002.

    Summer Concerts

    The Summer Concerts of AUDI AG and Bayerischer Rundfunk are now entering their 15th season and will assume a new, younger guise in 2004. To mark this milestone, the festival’s 20 events between June 26 and August 8, 2004 offer a surprising blend of diverse musical currents, featuring top musicians from the worlds of classical music, pop, jazz and even hip-hop. There will be a record number of 34,000 tickets for the Summer Concerts – 5,000 up on last year. The artists appearing include the German-Irish chart toppers Reamonn and Patrick Nuo, virtuoso violinist Nigel Kennedy, the actor Klaus Maria Brandauer, comedian und Grimme prizewinner Herbert Feuerstein, and the renowned rock poet Heinz Rudolf Kunze bringing a musical version of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” to Ingolstadt.

    Salzburg Festival

    The Salzburg Festival is a further focal point of Audi’s cultural sponsorship. AUDI AG first supported the Salzburg Festival in 1994, when it provided financial backing for a one-off production of Stravinsky’s “The Soldier’s Tale”. Since entering into a long-term partnership as sponsor in 1995, Audi has supported a variety of new productions of 20th-century music theatre. Audi’s involvement in Salzburg focuses primarily on supporting young, modern artists, its objective being to broaden their thematic and scenic scope. The Salzburg Festival traditionally makes a guest appearance at the Summer Concerts with an event from its current programme: this year, it will be putting on a concert performance of Purcell’s masterly opera “King Arthur” conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt.

    Other activities

    It is in addition sponsoring the production of Wagner’s operatic tetralogy “Der Ring des Nibelungen” at the Bavarian State Opera. Audi also provides financial backing for the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, the Handel Festival in Halle, the Merano Music Festival in Italy, the Castell de Peralada Festival and numerous other national and international music festivals. At its production locations Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm, it supports events including the Heilbronn Gaffenberg Festival, the cycle of concerts by the Georgian Chamber Orchestra of Ingolstadt and the series “Solo for Stars” at Ingolstadt Theatre.

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