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CLASSICAL  December 2006

CLASSICAL December 2006

Subject:

Musical America's Musicians of the Year Awards

From:

Scott Morrison <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Moderated Classical Music List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 22 Dec 2006 11:00:19 -0500

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   Bernard Haitink Named Musician of the Year
   By Susan Elliott
   MusicalAmerica.com
   December 21, 2006

   NEW YORK -- The Musical America International Directory of the
   Performing Arts announced its annual awards last night, naming
   Dutch conductor and recently appointed Chicago Symphony Principal
   Conductor Bernard Haitink as Musician of the Year.

   'I don't exactly climb into jets easily,' Haitink joked as he
   accepted the award at a reception at Lincoln Center, 'but when
   they told me I had to be here or not get the award, vanity told
   me I had to be here.'

   Haitink, 77, is among the field's most distinguished conductors;
   his recent exploration of the complete Beethoven Symphony cycle
   with the London Symphony, both in performance and on recording
   for LSO Live, has garnered high praise.  He is also closely
   allied with the Boston Symphony, and served as its principal
   guest conductor from 1995 to 2004. Other affiliations include
   Covent Garden and a long tenure as music director of the
   Concertgebouw.  Haitink has made hundreds of orchestral
   and opera recordings with major international ensembles.

   Vocalist of the Year Barbara Cook's comments were both poignant
   and gracious, expressing her deep appreciation for being 'honored
   by the classical community.' She related how Stephen Sondheim
   had recently (and so accurately) said to her, 'You have a love
   affair with each song you sing. You use the kind of care with a
   song that you would with a new lover.'

   In his tribute article, Stephen Holden wrote of Cook's 'vital
   music career that continues to defy gravity as she enters her
   80th year.'

   Kennedy Center CEO Michael Kaiser, who followed Cook in accepting
   his award for Impresario of the Year, said that he had 'joined
   the profession because of Barbara Cook.' As a child, he related,
   his parents - who were in attendance at the reception -- had
   taken him to see 'The Music Man' with Cook in the principal role
   of Marian the Librarian. He was captivated, he said.

   In his five years in the job, Kaiser has brought financial
   stability to the Center and, according to Tim Page in his article,
   'transformed the programming, and Washington is a more diverse,
   fertile, and altogether more interesting place for the arts than
   it has ever been.'

   William Bolcom, whom Mark Swed in his tribute article identified
   as 'an eclectic's eclectic, a composer with something for everyone'
   and 'a storied master of many musics,' was named Composer of the
   Year, with Musical America Editor Sedgwick Clark pointing out
   that Bolcom was currently at work on his fourth opera and eighth
   symphony, both of which will be premiered in 2008, the year of
   his 70th birthday.

   Clark described Instrumentalist of the Year Pierre-Laurent Aimard
   as possessing 'ear-opening artistry.' The French pianist garnered
   attention initially as a specialist in new music, but has since
   gone on to broaden his repertoire as well as his international
   audience. This season sees him in residence at both Carnegie
   Hall and the Berlin Philharmonic.

All of the awardees' profiles are available on MusicalAmerica.com,
at http://www.musicalamerica.com/features.

Scott Morrison

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