At its National Conference in Seattle last week, the League of American Orchestras presented two awards: the Gold Baton and the Helen M. Thompson Award. The Gold Baton went to Wayne S. Brown, president and CEO of Michigan Opera Theatre, director of music and opera for the National Endowment for the Arts from 1987 to 2013, and former executive director of the Louisville Orchestra. The Gold Baton Award is the highest national award given for distinguished service to music and the arts and in recognition of distinguished service to music that reaches beyond the local level to have national impact and significance. Deborah Rutter, president of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association and president designate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, presented Brown with his award at the Conference’s opening session on June 4. The Helen M. Thompson Award went to Marcelo Lehninger, music director of the New West Symphony and associate conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The Helen Thompson Award, given by the League to early-career orchestra managers and music directors in alternate years, recognized Lehninger for his artistic excellence, exceptional leadership, and commitment to organizational vitality.
Posted June 9, 2014