Recipients of the Pour le Mérite (civil class)

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  1. Recipients of the Pour le Mérite for Arts and Sciences 1 view

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  1. Albert Einstein

    Albert Einstein


    Albert Einstein (/ˈnstn/; 14 March 1879 – 18 April 1955) was a German-born theoretical physicist. He developed the general theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics (alongside quantum mechanics). Einstein's work is also known for its influence on the philosophy of science. Einstein is best known in popular culture for his mass–energy equivalence formula E = mc2 (which has been dubbed "the world's most famous equation"). He received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics for his "services to theoretical physics", in particular his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect, a pivotal step in the evolution of quantum theory.

  2. Franz Liszt

    Franz Liszt


    Franz Liszt (Hungarian Liszt Ferencz, in modern usage Liszt Ferenc (October 22, 1811 – July 31, 1886) was a 19th-century Hungarian composer, virtuoso pianist, conductor, teacher and Franciscan tertiary.

  3. Giuseppe Verdi

    Giuseppe Verdi


    Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi (9 or 10 October 1813 – 27 January 1901) was an Italian Romantic composer primarily known for his operas.

  4. Johannes Brahms

    Johannes Brahms


    Johannes Brahms (7 May 1833 – 3 April 1897) was a German composer and pianist. Born in Hamburg into a Lutheran family, Brahms spent much of his professional life in Vienna, Austria. In his lifetime, Brahms's popularity and influence were considerable. He is sometimes grouped with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven as one of the "Three Bs", a comment originally made by the nineteenth-century conductor Hans von Bülow.

  5. Richard Strauss

    Richard Strauss


    Richard Georg Strauss (11 June 1864 – 8 September 1949) was a leading German composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras. He is known for his operas, which include Der Rosenkavalier and Salome; his lieder, especially his Four Last Songs; his tone poems, including Don Juan, Death and Transfiguration, Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, Also sprach Zarathustra, Ein Heldenleben, Symphonia Domestica, and An Alpine Symphony; and other instrumental works such as Metamorphosen and his Oboe Concerto. Strauss was also a prominent conductor throughout Germany and Austria.

  6. Thomas Mann

    Thomas Mann


    Paul Thomas Mann (6 June 1875 – 12 August 1955) was a German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, essayist, and the 1929 Nobel Prize in Literature laureate. His highly symbolic and ironic epic novels and novellas are noted for their insight into the psychology of the artist and the intellectual. His analysis and critique of the European and German soul used modernized German and Biblical stories, as well as the ideas of Goethe, Nietzsche and Schopenhauer.

  7. Hermann Hesse

    Hermann Hesse


    Hermann Karl Hesse (2 July 1877 – 9 August 1962) was a German-born Swiss poet, novelist, and painter. His best-known works include Steppenwolf, Siddhartha, and The Glass Bead Game, each of which explores an individual's search for authenticity, self-knowledge and spirituality. In 1946, he received the Nobel Prize in Literature.

  8. Charles Darwin

    Charles Darwin


    Charles Robert Darwin, FRS (ˈdɑrwɪn; 12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist and geologist, best known for his contributions to evolutionary theory. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors, and in a joint publication with Alfred Russel Wallace introduced his scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection, in which the struggle for existence has a similar effect to the artificial selection involved in selective breeding.

  9. Wim Wenders

    Wim Wenders


    Ernst Wilhelm "Wim" Wenders (born 14 August 1945) is a German filmmaker, playwright, author, photographer, and a major figure in New German Cinema. In a career spanning over four decades, he has received some of the highest international film awards, including the Palme d'Or at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival for his drama Paris, Texas; the Golden Lion for the drama The State of Things at the Venice Film Festival (1982); and Best Director for the romantic fantasy film Wings of Desire at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival. He has been nominated for the Academy Awards three times, for his documentaries Buena Vista Social Club, about the music of Cuba, Pina, about the contemporary dance choreographer Pina Bausch, and The Salt of the Earth, about Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado. Since 1996, Wenders has been the president of the European Film Academy in Berlin.

  10. Carl Orff

    Carl Orff


    Carl Orff ((1895-07-10)July 10, 1895 – March 29, 1982(1982-03-29)) was a 20th-century German composer, best known for his cantata Carmina Burana (1937). In addition to his career as a composer, Orff developed an influential approach toward music education for children.

  11. Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy

    Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy


    Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (3 February 1809 – 4 November 1847), born and widely known as Felix Mendelssohn, was a German composer, pianist, organist and conductor of the early Romantic period.

  12. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

    Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan


    Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (Sarvepalli Radhakrrsnayya  listen ; 5 September 1888 – 17 April 1975) was an Indian philosopher and statesman who was the first Vice President of India (1952–1962) and the second President of India from 1962 to 1967.

  13. Umberto Eco

    Umberto Eco


    Umberto Eco, (born 5 January 1932) is an Italian semiotician, essayist, philosopher, literary critic, and novelist. He is best known for his groundbreaking 1980 historical mystery novel Il nome della rosa (The Name of the Rose), an intellectual mystery combining semiotics in fiction, biblical analysis, medieval studies and literary theory. He has since written further novels, including Il pendolo di Foucault (Foucault's Pendulum) and L'isola del giorno prima (The Island of the Day Before). His most recent novel Il cimitero di Praga (The Prague Cemetery), released in 2010, was a best-seller.

  14. Otto Klemperer

    Otto Klemperer


    Otto Klemperer (14 May 1885 – 6 July 1973) was a German conductor and composer. He is widely regarded as one of the leading conductors of the 20th century.

  15. Camille Saint-Saëns

    Camille Saint-Saëns


    Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns (9 October 1835 – 16 December 1921) was a French composer, organist, conductor and pianist of the Romantic era. His best-known works include Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso (1863), the Second Piano Concerto (1868), the First Cello Concerto (1872), Danse macabre (1874), the opera Samson and Delilah (1877), the Third Violin Concerto (1880), the Third ("Organ") Symphony (1886) and The Carnival of the Animals (1887).

  16. Elisabeth Schwarzkopf

    Elisabeth Schwarzkopf


    Dame Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, DBE (9 December 1915 – 3 August 2006) was a German-born Austrian/British soprano opera singer and recitalist. She was among the most renowned classical singers of the 20th century, much admired for her performances of Mozart, Schubert, Strauss, and Wolf.

  17. Albert Schweitzer

    Albert Schweitzer


    Albert Schweitzer (14 January 1875 – 4 September 1965) was a German—and later French—theologian, organist, philosopher, physician, and medical missionary in Africa, also known for his historical work on Jesus. He was born in the province of Alsace-Lorraine, at that time part of the German Empire, though he considered himself French and wrote mostly in French.

  18. Pierre Boulez

    Pierre Boulez


    Pierre Boulez (born 26 March 1925) is a French composer, conductor, writer, and pianist.

  19. Niels Bohr

    Niels Bohr


    Niels Henrik David Bohr (7 October 1885 – 18 November 1962) was a Danish physicist who made foundational contributions to understanding atomic structure and quantum theory, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922. Bohr was also a philosopher and a promoter of scientific research.

  20. Robert Koch

    Robert Koch


    Robert Koch (born 26 February 1986) is a German footballer who plays as a midfielder for 1. FC Nürnberg.

  21. Wilhelm Röntgen

    Wilhelm Röntgen


    Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen (ˈrɛntɡən, -ən, ˈrʌnt-; 27 March 1845 – 10 February 1923) was a German physicist, who, on 8 November 1895, produced and detected electromagnetic radiation in a wavelength range known as X-rays or Röntgen rays, an achievement that earned him the first Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901. In honour of his accomplishments, in 2004 the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) named element 111, roentgenium, a radioactive element with multiple unstable isotopes, after him.

  22. Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau

    Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau


    Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (28 May 1925 – 18 May 2012) was a German lyric baritone and conductor of classical music, one of the most famous Lieder (art song) performers of the post-war period, described as "one of the supreme vocal artists of the 20th century" and "the most influential singer of the 20th Century". Fischer-Dieskau was ranked the second greatest singer of the century (after Jussi Björling) by Classic CD (United Kingdom) "Top Singers of the Century" Critics' Poll (June 1999).

  23. Otto von Bismarck

    Otto von Bismarck


    Otto Eduard Leopold, Prince of Bismarck, Duke of Lauenburg (1 April 1815 – 30 July 1898), known as Otto von Bismarck, was a conservative Prussian statesman who dominated German and European affairs from the 1860s until 1890. In the 1860s he engineered a series of wars that unified the German states (excluding Austria) into a powerful German Empire under Prussian leadership. With that accomplished by 1871 he skillfully used balance of power diplomacy to preserve German hegemony in a Europe which, despite many disputes and war scares, remained at peace. For historian Eric Hobsbawm, it was Bismarck, who "remained undisputed world champion at the game of multilateral diplomatic chess for almost twenty years after 1871, [and] devoted himself exclusively, and successfully, to maintaining peace between the powers."

  24. Erwin Schrödinger

    Erwin Schrödinger


    Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger (12 August 1887 – 4 January 1961), sometimes written as Erwin Schrodinger or Erwin Schroedinger, was a Nobel Prize-winning Austrian physicist who developed a number of fundamental results in the field of quantum theory, which formed the basis of wave mechanics: he formulated the wave equation (stationary and time-dependent Schrödinger equation) and revealed the identity of his development of the formalism and matrix mechanics. Schrödinger proposed an original interpretation of the physical meaning of the wave function.

  25. James Chadwick

    James Chadwick


    Sir James Chadwick, CHFRS (20 October 1891 – 24 July 1974) was an English physicist who was awarded the 1935 Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery of the neutron in 1932. In 1941, he wrote the final draft of the MAUD Report, which inspired the U.S. government to begin serious atomic bomb research efforts. He was the head of the British team that worked on the Manhattan Project during the Second World War. He was knighted in England in 1945 for his achievements in physics.

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