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The 250th anniversary of the birth of Austria's most famous Wunderkind is being celebrated in a year long series of events all over the world. Mozart's music has maintained its popularity for over a quarter of a millennium and is still powerful enough to convince Israel's top doctors that it might be capable of stirring Prime Minister Ariel Sharon out of his coma.
In Israel, there will be a large number of concerts, workshops and events commemorating the Austrian composer. "Our objective was to support every event that would facilitate a new interpretation of Mozart" Dr. Mario Vielgrader, Director of the Austrian Cultural Forum in Tel Aviv, told The Jerusalem Post.
On Mozart's birthday, the 27th of January, the Austrian Cultural Forum in cooperation with the Israel Composers' League will award the Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Prize to young Israeli composers for the composition of a symphony or string quartet utilizing the common instrumentation of the 18th century. The prize-winning piece will be rewarded with 2,500 Euro and will be performed over the course of a year by the Israeli String Quartet and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra.
Furthermore the Felicja Blumenthal Music Center will host an exhibit charting the years that the Salzburg born artist lived and worked in the country's capital of Vienna. The opening takes place today and will be followed by a Mozart concert.
For Austria, which currently holds the presidency of the European Union, 2006 is the year when they will be celebrating the achievements of two of their most famous countrymen, Mozart 250th birthday, and the 150th anniversary of the Jewish psychologist Sigmund Freud. The year 2006 will also mark 50 years of Austrian diplomatic relations with Israel.