Düsseldorf-born cellist Thomas Beckmann has won a new German award for outstanding citizenship. The prize, worth €20,000, was awarded by the Federation of German Newspaper Publishers in recognition of Beckmann's commitment to the homeless. The former student of Pierre Fournier was chosen by a jury of 50 newspaper editors from a list of 37 nominees that included presidential candidate Joachim Gauck and footballers Philipp Lahm and Mezut Özil.

Beckmann has raised more than €1.5m through benefit concerts to support the homeless charity Together Against the Cold, which he set up with seven friends in 1996. The charity operates more than 100 projects in 36 cities across Germany. Beckmann has previously won the European Social Award and the Lorenz Werthmann Medal for his charity work.