In accordance with Article 2 of the constitution of the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation concerning the annual award of one or more prizes to honour individuals or organizations whose contributions in the cultural, social or social science fields have been of outstanding importance to Europe, His Royal Highness Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands confirmed the decision of the Board of the Foundation to award the Praemium Erasmianum for the year 1998 to Peter Sellars.
The Erasmus Prize is awarded to Peter Sellars
- for combining in his original creations the European and American cultural traditions, thus opening up new horizons in a modern-day approach to opera and the theatre;
- for confronting the public, as a director, with the injustice and lack of understanding round about us, thereby compelling moral commitment;
- for achieving, through his intercultural theatre experiments, fruitful cooperation between highly diverse communities, as a result of which individual groups become aware of their own culture and heritage, and approach others with respect and curiosity;
- for removing the distinction between elitist and popular culture, through his vision of art, morality and politics, and for at the same time calling into question generally accepted opinions;
- finally, for the fact that all his activities spring from his great love of his fellow human beings, allowing him to inspire all those working with him to outstanding achievements.