Mendelssohn-Preis

The Mendelssohn Monument

On 26 May 1892, 24 years after the establishment of a committee for a monument honouring composer Felix Mendelssohn and 45 years after his untimely death, a bronze statue designed by Werner Stein was dedicated on the east side of the old Gewandhaus in Leipzig's music district. The monument's statement and historico-cultural importance were characteristic of great sculptural art at the close of the nineteenth century and paid tribute to the brilliant musician and his contribution to musical life.

During the Nazi regime, the Mendelssohn statue was removed on 9 November 1936, since Mendelssohn was considered a Jew and – according to the National Socialist mayor, Rudolf Haake – "as such cannot be displayed as an exponent of a German city of music." The whereabouts of the original statue are unknown.
Based on a 2003 agreement between then-Mayor Wolfgang Tiefensee and the Gewandhaus Orchestra's Honorary Conductor, Kurt Masur, the decision was made to erect another Mendelssohn monument. With a generous contribution from a patron, Dr. Wolfgang Jentzsch, plans for the reinstallation of the monument began.
The new location of the reconstructed Mendelssohn monument is at the heart of the city on the Dittrichring, across from St. Thomas's Church. The monument was dedicated on 18 October 2008.

An approximately three-meter-high bronze statue of Felix Mendelssohn stands on a four-meter-high granite pedestal. The muse of music sits on the steps of the monument, and four angels – two playing and two singing – are grouped on the sides. The front of the pedestal bears the name "Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy," and on the back is the inscription "Edles nur künde die Sprache der Töne" (The language of music proclaims only the noble). On the sides are medallions symbolizing sacred and secular music.