Gilmore adds jazz award, following $8 million gift from Michigan-based donor

Posted on: February 22, 2022

With an endowment gift of $8 million, the Gilmore has established a new quadrennial award for jazz pianists that parallels the current one for classical artists (The Gilmore Artist Award), the most recipient of which was Igor Levit, in 2018,” writes Susan Elliott in Thursday’s (2/17) Musical America (subscription required). “The new award is named for Larry J. Bell, founder of the Bell Brewery in Kalamazoo, MI, where the Gilmore is based. Like the Gilmore Artist Award, the Larry J. Bell Jazz Artist Award brings its recipient $300,000—$50,000 cash plus $250,000 over four years for furthering their artistry and career. The first award will be made in 2026. Also following the established model for classical musicians, there will be a Larry J. Bell Young Jazz Artist Award of $25,000 every two years. The first will be in 2024…. Pierre van der Westhuizen, executive and artistic director of The Irving S. Gilmore International Piano Festival, notes, … ‘It has long been our dream to recognize the great jazz piano traditions and celebrate the next generation with an award that is on par with the Gilmore Artist Award for classical pianists.’ ”