February 12, 2016
NWS Grammy Award Connection
This Monday February 15, 2016 is Grammy Awards night.
New World Symphony was actually nominated for a Grammy for its debut CD release Tangazo (1993). Unfortunately, NWS didn’t win that year. NWS Artistic Director Michael Tilson Thomas, though, has won eleven Grammy Awards, from 1975 through 2012, recording with other orchestras.
Many NWS guest performers have won Grammys, as have many NWS alumni as members of winning orchestras. And Miami Grammy chapter and Latin Grammy events have taken place at the New World Center.
One of this year’s Grammy honorees does have a substantial New World Symphony connection.
In January, The Recording Academy announced its class of 2016 Special Merit Awards recipients. This year's Trustees Award honorees include American composer John Cage (1912-1992). The Trustees Award recognizes contributions in areas other than performance and is determined by vote of The Recording Academy's National Board of Trustees.
A special ceremony and concert celebrating the honorees will be held in the spring. Additional details regarding the ceremony have yet to be announced.
In February 2013, the New World Symphony held a four-day festival entitled “Making the Right Choices: A John Cage Centennial Celebration” commemorating the centenary of his birth. The varied programs included his orchestral, ensemble, and solo works, video, dance and songs. Some 20 works were performed. Other events were documentary films, photo exhibit, lectures and panel discussion. Guest artists were singers Jessye Norman, Meredith Monk, Joan La Barbara, and pianist Marc-André Hamelin.
On April 27 2015 the New World Symphony continued its tribute to the life and work of John Cage by launching its new John Cage website, “Making the Right Choices: A John Cage Celebration.” The website augments the festival performances with interviews, rehearsal videos and essays that provide insight into Cage’s work.
The website, which was funded in part by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, was unveiled that Monday evening at an event at Lincoln Center in New York, with NWS staff and selected Fellows attending, along with VIPs, press and media. The site continues as a source of online scholarship and performance videos on Cage and his life and work.
Interestingly Cage’s works have been performed by NWS in geographically diverse venues including Hunter College, New York in 1993, Ojai Music Festival, California in 1994, and the Musée Océanographique in Monaco in 1995.
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