In the span of one month, conductor James Conlon has received three awards including two honorary doctorate degrees and an award from the Music Institute of Chicago.
Mr. Conlon received the Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Brandeis University in Waltham , MA , where he was a special guest at the university’s commencement ceremony on May 17, 2009. Brandeis University honored Mr. Conlon for his distinguished accomplishments as the pre-eminent conductor of his generation, and for his extraordinary efforts in reviving works suppressed by the Nazi regime through his multi-year “Recovered Voices” project at LA Opera. This year’s other honorary degree recipients include opera singer Marilyn Horne, Newark , NJ Mayor Cory Booker, Indian environmentalist Rajendrea K. Pachauri, choreographer Bill T. Jones, Holocaust survivor and scholar Israel Gutman, and Israeli entrepreneur and industrialist Stef Wertheimer. Mr. Conlon and the other recipients, join a distinguished group of individuals who have received honorary degrees from Brandeis University including Marian Anderson, Marc Chagall, Wynton Marsalis, Arthur Miller, Jessye Norman, and André Watts, among many others.
Mr. Conlon was also awarded the honorary degree, Doctor of Arts honoris causa, from Chapman University in Orange, CA, also in recognition of his accomplishments as a conductor and his contributions in the field of music, particularly his role in to recovering music suppressed during the Nazi era. Mr. Conlon was honored April 20, 2009 at Chapman University’s annual “Evening of Holocaust Remembrance” event presented by Chapman University’s Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education.
Mr. Conlon was also presented with the Dushkin Award from the Music Institute of Chicago in recognition of his artistry and passion as a performer, educator, and mentor, and for sharing his knowledge and experiences with young musicians. Past artists who have received the award include Leon Fleischer, Midori, Renée Fleming, Sir Andrew Davis, Mstislav Rostropovich, Isaac Stern, Christoph Eschenbach, Pierre Boulez, Zarin Mehta, and Placido Domingo, among others. The Dushkin award was established 25 years ago in memory of the Music Institute of Chicago’s founder David Dushkin. The Music Institute of Chicago was established in 1931, and is now one of the largest independent community music schools in the United States.
James Conlon is Music Director of Los Angeles Opera, Music Director of the Ravinia Festival, the summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and celebrates his 30th Anniversary as Music Director of the Cincinnati May Festival in 2009. He has cultivated a vast symphonic, operatic and choral repertoire, and developed enduring relationships with the world's most prestigious symphony orchestras and opera houses through 35 years of conducting.
Mr. Conlon’s awards in the recent past include two Grammy Awards, Best Classical Recording and Best Opera Album, for conducting LA Opera’s Kurt Weill’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny released on DVD, the Medal of the American Liszt Society in recognition of his distinctive performances of the composer’s works, Italy’s Premio Galileo 2000 Award for his significant contribution to music, art and peace in Florence, and an honorary Doctor of Music degree from The Juilliard School, which he received in 2004. He was named an Officier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government in 1996, and in September 2004 he was promoted to Commander—the highest honor awarded by the Ministry of Culture in France. In September 2002, he received France ’s highest distinction from the President of the French Republic, Jacques Chirac—the Légion d’Honneur. For more information visit www.jamesconlon.com.