André Watts (AD ’72, Piano) was awarded a 2011 National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists and art patrons by the United States government. President Barack Obama bestowed the medal during a ceremony on Feb. 13, in the East Room of the White House, though Watts was unable to attend.
Three works by Peabody Composition Chair Michael Hersch (BM ’95, MM ’97, Composition) will be premiered in the next few months. On Mar. 15 and 17, the Cleveland Orchestra will present Hersch’s Night Pieces for trumpet and orchestra, commissioned by the Cleveland Orchestra. On Apr. 5, the Blair String Quartet will perform the New York premiere, at Carnegie Recital Hall, of Images From a Closed Ward, which they commissioned. The Seattle Symphony Orchestra with Shai Wosner, piano, will perform “along the ravines” Piano Concerto No. 2, which was commissioned by Shai Wosner and the Borletti-Buitoni Trust.
Master of Music candidate Nathan Wyatt, (BM ’10, Voice) baritone, was recipient of the SongFest Commission Award to perform the world premiere of a new song composition by Pulitzer Prize and Grammy Award-winning composer William Bolcom at the SongFest vocal program in Los Angeles, CA this summer, June 3-28. The song will be set to a poem by Jane Kenyon entitled Gettysburg: July 1, 1863. Wyatt will be working with the composer this spring in preparation for the premiere.
Jenni Bank (BM ’06, Voice) mezzo-soprano, was chosen as one of ten winners of the 2011 William Matheus Sullivan Musical Foundation competition, held in Kent, Conn. in November. Each winner was awarded a cash prize of $11,000.
Thomas Kotcheff (BM ’10, Piano) was selected as one of the winners of the University of Southern California‘s New Music for Orchestra competition. His Piano Concerto was performed on Feb. 9 by the USC Thornton Symphony with Kotcheff as the piano soloist.