Musical America has announced the winners of the annual Musical America Awards, which recognize “artistic excellence and achievement in the arts.”
Meredith Monk has been named “Composer of the Year.” The announcement notes:
Meredith Monk has been a source of amazement in American new music for nearly half a century, and she has the accolades to prove it: a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, marathon retrospective concerts at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, a prestigious record label (ECM), commissions from the San Francisco Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Kronos Quartet, and Houston Grand Opera. Her wide-ranging influence has reached pop, jazz, and the visual arts. Being a composer who is, in addition, a singer, keyboardist, dancer, choreographer, director, and film maker, the impetus for her music is often part of an all-embracing theatrical concept. It would be hard to locate another composer of her originality or spiritual depth in the Western classical tradition who has used her body to Monk’s degree, to make music.
In addition, cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han have been awarded the “Musicians of the Year” award, the first time the honor has been shared. Jaap van Zweden has been named “Conductor of the Year,” Gill Shaham “Instrumentalist of the Year,” and Jonas Kaufmann “Vocalist of the Year.”
The awards will be presented in a special ceremony at Lincoln Center on December 5, 2011.