Thursday, September 19, 2002

CSO leads list of Classical Hall of Fame inductees

By Janelle Gelfand,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The nation's fifth oldest symphony orchestra, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, will be inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame, the Cincinnati-based hall announced this week.

        The 108-year-old orchestra is one of 13 inductees on the 2002 roster that have contributed “to the growth, development and appreciation of American Classical Music.”

        Dorothy DeLay, one of the most influential violin teachers of the 20th century, will be inducted posthumously. Ms. DeLay, who served on the faculty of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music from 1974 until her death in March, accepted the honor shortly before she died, said Stefan Skirtz, the Hall of Fame's executive director.

        Former student Itzhak Perlman, a 2001 inductee, will be invited to accept her medallion for her.

        The 2002 roster also includes soprano Jessye Norman; cellist Pablo Casals; pianist Artur Schnabel; Leonard Slatkin, music director of the National Symphony Orchestra;

        Lorin Maazel, who recently started his tenure as music director of the New York Philharmonic; composers John Cage, Lukas Foss, Louis Moreau Gottschalk, Gian Carlo Menotti and Darius Milhaud; and the Handel and Haydn Society of Boston.

        Mr. Slatkin was scheduled to be the first to be presented with his medallion on Wednesday, the opening night concert of the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington.

        “I am honored to be named to the American Classical Music Hall of Fame,” said Mr. Slatkin, a staunch champion of American music. “Such a distinction would not be possible without the many American composers who have entrusted me with their music, and the many orchestras that have embraced the new and different, especially my own National Symphony Orchestra. Thank you all.”

        Rather than hold one gala ceremony, the Hall of Fame plans to perform inductions in front of classical music audiences around the country, Mr. Skirtz said. Ceremonies will be held this year in Cincinnati's Music Hall (on a date to be determined by the CSO), New York and Boston.

        The New York ceremony, at New York's Lincoln Center in November, will honor Ms. DeLay; Mr. Casals, whose medallion will be accepted by his widow; Mr. Foss; and Mr. Cage, who will be represented by his former longtime collaborator, choreographer Merce Cunningham.

        The Handel and Haydn Society will be honored in a performance of Handel's Messiah in December in Boston.

        The Hall of Fame is on Fourth Street, downtown. It will debut a new Web site soon (www.americanclassical and plans to keep up its national exposure, Mr. Skirtz says.


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