Founded in 1951, the British-German Association is a British charity that promotes mutual understanding and friendship between the UK and Germany. Its Medal of Honour is awarded annually to recipients who have made an outstanding contribution to promoting this purpose.
London Bach Society was founded in 1946 by the late Bach conductor and scholar Dr Paul Steinitz OBE (1909- 1988). Since foundation LBS has played a seminal role in the post-war British Bach revival of the late 20th century, giving the UK ‘live’ première of Bach’s St Matthew Passion in its complete and original German form (1952) and presenting the first complete public cycle in the UK of Bach’s extant church and secular cantatas (1958-1987) amongst other major projects. Formal visits to Leipzig took place in 1964, and then in 1983 (Martin Luther Year) under the auspices of the British Council.
Following Dr Steinitz’ death in 1988, his widow Margaret Steinitz resolved to continue her husband’s work and, facilitated by the Fall of the Berlin Wall, duly extended the hand of musical friendship to the Leipzig Thomanerchor by inviting this world-famous boys choir to make their first visit to the UK in 1994 (Cambridge, Birmingham, London, Wells, BBC). Firm links have been forged since with both the boys’ choir and with the Leipzig Bach-Archive, the world’s pre-eminent Bach research centre.
On receiving her Medal Margaret Steinitz said “ I am absolutely delighted and honoured to receive this award from His Royal Highness and warmly thank The Duke of Kent, Vice-Presidents, the Chairman, Trustees and Members of the BGA for making me one of its 2019 recipients. Through my work with LBS, we will continue to build on the friendship established over years and here in the UK continue to open the door to Bach’s life-enhancing music especially for young people.”
Margaret has been awarded the BGA Medal of Honour for her work with the London Bach Society and for forging links with Leipzig.