Erna Hennicot-Schoepges

Erna Hennicot-Schoepges

  • Luxembourg
  • Luxembourg
Cultural areas
Classical Music, Literature, Philosophy
Website

Profile

Erna Hennicot-Schoepges was born in Dudelange, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Her father was a steel worker at ARBED, the Luxembourg-based steel and iron production company. At the age of six, E.H-S started piano lessons and soon became a distinguished child-pianist. At the age of fourteen, she continued her music studies at the Conservatoire Royal de Musique in Brussels, Belgium, where, she was awarded the prestigious Gold Medal. She pursued her musical studies with Prof. Magda Tagliaferro at the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris, France, with Prof. Walter Klien at the Mozarteum in Salzbourg Austria.  At the Centre Universitaire in Luxembourg she studied literature and philosophy. Erna Hennicot-Schoepges was selected by Radio Luxembourg as a broadcasting producer, specialized in classical music presentations. In 1966 she was appointed piano professor at the Conservatory of Luxembourg. The political career of E.H-S started as a member of Parliament in 1979. On a local level E.H-S was elected Mayor of Walferdange. In 1989 she became the first woman president of Luxembourg’s Parliament and quickly advanced to become a main figure in Luxembourg politics. She had governmental responsibilities in many different sectors such as a Minister of Culture, Religions, Education, Higher Education and Research and of Public Works. She represented Luxembourg at the ministerial meetings of French-speaking nations the "Francophonie". On a national level, the achievements of E.H-S include, amongst others, the creation of the National Research Fund, the University of Luxembourg, the Philharmonic Hall designed by Christian de Portzamparc and the Museum of Modern Art in Luxembourg, designed  by I.M. Pei. The CCRN Cultural Center Neumunster Abbey and the Rock hall were cultural achievements under her responsibility. In 1995 she had succeeded Jean-Claude Juncker as President of the Christian Social Party (CSV) in Luxembourg. In 2004 she was elected a Member of the European Parliament where she was active as a member of the committees of Culture, Research and Industry and Environment. She was appointed Rapporteur to the EP of the  « European Year of Intercultural Dialogue, 2008″, through which she managed to create an intense political debate on cultural issues by organizing conferences and publications. She was promoted Dr. of Laws by the Miami University, Ohio, Dr. Honoris Causa Humane Letters by the Sacred Heart University State of Connecticut, and Dr.Honoris Causa  by the University Lucian Blaga in Sibiu, Romania. In 2009 E.H-S was nominated a member of the Luxembourg Council of State. She is currently a member of the Jury for the European Capitals of Culture as an independent expert. E.H-S is active in numerous associations, leading as a President the INECC (Institut européen de Chant Choral) the Friends of the University of Luxembourg and the Théatre du Centaure.  As a founding member of the Forum of Civilizations Echternach and a Vice President of the ICD (Institute for Cultural Diplomacy) in Berlin she continues to promote intercultural dialogue. E.H-S has been the recipient of many international decorations. She was awarded the insignia of Grande Croix de la Légion d'Honneur(1992) Grand Officier de l'Ordre de Mérite Civil et Militaire d'Adolphe de Nassau (1999), Grand Officier de l'Ordre Grand-Ducal de la Couronne de Chêne(1990) La Grand-Croix de l'Ordre de la Couronne du Royaume de Belgique(1994) Kommandor medstyrne Konglige Norske Fortjenstorden Norway(1996) Commander's Star of the Icelandic Order of the Falcon (1990) Das Grosse Goldene Ehrenzeichen am Bande für Verdienste um die Republik Österreich (2002) Great Officer of the Meritul Cultural Romania. Erna Hennicot Schoepges has been made a citizen of honor by the city of Sibiu (Herrmanstadt) in 2002. E.H-S is married to Lucien Hennicot and mother of Danielle, Jean-Claude and Stephanie.