On Tuesday evening, December 8th at Carnegie Hall, the long-standing organization Musical America - known for its comprehensive directory of the music business - celebrated recipients of its 2016 awards for musical excellence. In a room full of supporters, managers, fellow artists and press, trophies were given to artist, composer, instrumentalist, vocalist, and ensemble of the year.
Philadelphia Orchestra Music Director Yannick Nezet-Seguin, named artist of the year, appears on the cover of the 2016 book used by artists and arts groups all over the world. In his remarks from the podium in accepting his award, Yannick spoke of the power of music, especially in difficult times.
YNS: We believe in this music, we because we believe it can change people. … It can transform. It can also make people remember why we’re here… And we remember that it's important to dream about beauty, to make beauty part of our life.
YNS: We are invested, all of us, in a mission to spread the joy of music. The joy with capital J - doesn’t mean it's always happy – far from it. But the true joy and the belief that the world is better with the art because it does connect us with ourselves and with everyone.
Speaking afterwards to WRTI's Susan Lewis, Yannick said the award is an affirmation of the importance of music.
YNS: I couldn’t be more proud and humbled by all this, but I take it as a great encouragement to do the good work we are doing in Philly, and I think it's a great signal of what is needed in our world of concert classical music in this moment.
In addition to The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick leads Montreal’s Orchestre Metropolitain and the Rotterdam Philharmonic. He also conducts opera at the Metropolitan Opera and throughout Europe. Two of his recent recordings with The Philadelphia Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe were nominated for Grammy Awards.
Other awards went to Curtis grad, violinist Jennifer Koh, who was honored as instrumentalist of the year; Composer Tod Machover; British Tenor Mark Padmor; and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project.