James Conlon, LA Opera’s Music Director, was honored with two awards in Los Angeles over the weekend. On Friday, December 10, the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music presented Mr. Conlon with the prestigious Thornton Legacy Award at the 24th Annual Charles Dickens Dinner, a black-tie fundraising gala for the school held at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel. The award recognizes Mr. Conlon’s outstanding career and deep commitment to fostering the next generation of musical artists. The Thornton School of Music also inaugurated the Maestro James Conlon Music Scholarship, awarded to student Marina Harris, a mezzo-soprano. Founded in 1884, the Thornton School of Music is the oldest continuously operating cultural institution in Southern California and one of the oldest music schools in the country.
On Sunday, December 12, after conducting LA Opera’s final performance of Richard Wagner’s Lohengrin, James Conlon was presented with the inaugural Sherwin Sloan Tribute Award by the Wagner Society of Southern California at a gala dinner ceremony held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The award is named in honor of the beloved founding chairman of the Wagner Society of Southern California, who died earlier this year. Mr. Conlon was also bestowed with an honorary membership in the Society, marking his third such honorary membership; he is also an honorary member of the Wagner societies of Cologne and Paris . In his five seasons with LA Opera, Mr. Conlon has conducted seven different Wagner operas, including the Company’s first Ring cycles.