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The publication musical america announced the winners of its 62nd annual awards on October 11, 2022.
American violinist Hilary Hahn was named artist of the year for her work in expanding the violin repertoire in the form of commissions, as well as promoting music education. In an interview with musical americaHahn cited the use of technology that has helped ease his isolation during the pandemic, as well as using his expansive platform to shine a light on underrepresented composers and promote inclusivity.
“After the murder of George Floyd, I spent a lot of time figuring out why I didn’t have fair representation in my job,” Hahn said. “I looked at what the shortcomings were and what had prevented me from noticing them.
“The risk, when we continue to follow the same patterns, is to hear the same things,” she continued. “But the arts are the emotional document of history. It is important to invite all experiences to be involved.
Jessie Montgomery was named Composer of the Year. A violinist trained at Juilliard, Montgomery turned to composition in her 20s as a way to express her own black identity through music. “In classical music, we weren’t talking about black people,” Montgomery said musical america. “My identity was not represented; it was not important to learn and be good at this music.
Montgomery is currently in her second year as Composer-in-Residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and was named Composer-in-Residence at the Bard College Conservatory of Music earlier this year.
Semyon Bychov as Conductor of the Year and Yuval Sharon as Director of the Year. “Each of these talents has, in their own way, advanced the art form far beyond expectation and brought entirely new insights and perspectives to the performing arts,” said Stephanie Challener of musical america.
The prizes will be awarded on December 4, 2022 on Facebook Live. Conductor Leonard Bernstein was the first Artist of the Year to be named in 1961, with previous winners including Yo-Yo Ma, Yehudi Menuhin, Nathan Milstein, Itzhak Perlman, David Finckel and Wu Han, the Kronos Quartet and the Juilliard Quartet.