The Juilliard School Holds 111th Commencement Ceremony
The Juilliard School will confer honorary doctorates on five remarkable artists during its 111th Commencement Ceremony on Friday, May 20, 2016, at 11am in Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center (Broadway at 65th Street, New York City). Pianist Leif Ove Andsnes, actress and alumna Christine Baranski, jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter, actress Cicely Tyson, and former dancer and Alvin Ailey II Artistic Director Emerita Sylvia Waters, an alumna of Juilliard, will be honored at the May 2016 Commencement Ceremony. Christine Baranski will give Juilliard’s Commencement Address. Juilliard President Joseph W. Polisi will read special citations and present degrees to all five honorees, who will be garbed in Juilliard’s traditional academic robes and velvet caps, and will receive their ceremonial doctoral hoods onstage. The ceremony will be live streamed at live.juilliard.edu.
Receiving Juilliard’s Honorary Doctor of Music:
Leif Ove Andsnes: Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes’s commanding technique and searching interpretations have won him acclaim worldwide. This past fall, Concerto – A Beethoven Journey, a documentary by award-winning British director and filmmaker Phil Grabsky was released. The film chronicles Mr. Andsnes’s epic four-season focus on the master composer’s music for piano and orchestra, which took him to 108 cities in 27 countries for more than 230 live performances. Highlights of this current season include major European and North American solo recital tours with a program of Beethoven, Debussy, Chopin, and Sibelius, as well as Schumann and Mozart concerto collaborations with the Chicago, Cleveland, and Philadelphia symphony orchestras, Bergen Philharmonic, Zurich Tonhalle, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Munich Philharmonic, and London Symphony Orchestra, among others. He is also touring Brahms’s three piano quartets with his frequent musical partner, Christian Tetzlaff, together with Tabea Zimmermann and Clemens Hagen.
Last season brought the conclusion of “The Beethoven Journey,” his most ambitious achievement to date. With the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, he led complete Beethoven concerto cycles from the keyboard in high-profile residencies in Hamburg, Bonn, Lucerne, Vienna, Paris, New York, Shanghai, Tokyo, Bodø, and London. The partnership was captured on disc by Sony Classical with both The New York Times and Suddeutsche Zeitung hailing the final box set release as the “Best of 2014.”
Mr. Andsnes now records exclusively for Sony Classical. His previous discography comprises more than 30 discs for EMI Classics spanning repertoire from the time of Bach to the present day. He has been nominated for eight Grammys and awarded many international prizes, including six Gramophone Mr. Andsnes has received Norway’s distinguished honor, Commander of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav. Other awards include the Peer Gynt Prize, the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Instrumentalist Award, and the Gilmore Artist Award; Vanity Fair named Andsnes one of the “Best of the Best” in 2005.
Wayne Shorter: The music of Wayne Shorter has left an indelible mark on the development of music for the last half-century. He first rose to prominence in the late 1950s as the primary composer for Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. He next joined the Miles Davis Quintet becoming what that bandleader referred to as the ensemble’s “intellectual musical catalyst” before co-founding the pioneering group Weather Report. Since 2001, he has led his own highly acclaimed quartet.
“Mr. Shorter’s mastery is in knocking down the wall between jazz and classical” (New York Times) and the Chicago Symphony, Lyon Symphony, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Prague Philharmonic and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra are among the orchestras that have performed his symphonic compositions. Acclaimed artists and ensembles such as Renée Fleming and the Imani Winds have also performed his works.
He has received commissions from the St. Louis, Nashville, Detroit and National Symphony Orchestras, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the La Jolla Music Society. In all, Mr. Shorter has realized over 200 compositions, works that are performed around the world by premiere artists and studied by students and scholars alike.
Mr. Shorter’s outstanding record of professional achievement includes 11 Grammys including a Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 2015. He has received Honorary Doctorates from New York University, New England Conservatory, and Berklee College of Music. In 1997, the National Endowment for the Arts presented Wayne Shorter with the Jazz Master Award.
In his current symphonic work, Mr. Shorter continues to evolve the dynamic between fully realized score and improvisation creating, in his words, a “flashlight into the unknown.” “I want to inspire the audience to feel what might be necessary in order to continue their journey in this life in a way that has never been done before,” says Mr. Shorter, “so that we can have a new way of dialoguing based on being comfort zone free, and summoning the courage to fearlessly face the unknown and negotiate the
Receiving Juilliard’s Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts:
Christine Baranski: One of the industry’s most honored actresses, Christine Baranski, has achieved acclaim in every medium in which she has performed. She is an Emmy, two-time Tony, Screen Actors Guild, Drama Desk, and American Comedy Award winner.
A native of Buffalo, Ms. Baranski attended Juilliard. She received her big break being cast in Tom Stoppard’s hit Broadway comedy, The Real Thing, directed by Mike Nichols for which she won a Tony Award and Drama Desk Award. She went on to earn a second Tony Award for her performance in Neil Simon’s Rumors. She also appeared in Boeing-Boeing; Hurlyburly; The House of Blue Leaves; The Loman Family Picnic; Regrets Only; Encores! productions of Follies; Promises, Promises; and On Your Toes; and the Kennedy Center productions of Sweeney Todd and Mame. Off Broadway, she appeared in five plays at the Manhattan Theatre Club, as well as in productions at Playwrights Horizons, Lincoln Center Theater, and the Public Theater. Regionally, she performed in works by Shakespeare, Chekhov, Molière, Shaw, Sam Shepard, and Jules Feiffer.
In addition to the Emmy for hit CBS comedy, Cybill, Ms. Baranski received an American Comedy Award for “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy.” She also received three additional Emmy and three Golden Globe nominations. She was also seen as a guest on Frasier, for which she received a fifth Emmy nomination. She has appeared on multiple episodes of the CBS series, The Big Bang Theory, and received three Emmy nominations for “Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series” twice. She is currently starring in the hit CBS series, The Good Wife, for which she received six Emmy nominations for “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series” and two Critics’ Choice Television Award
Her film credits include Miss Sloane, Into the Woods, Mamma Mia!, Chicago, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Bowfinger, Bulworth, Cruel Intentions, The Birdcage, Reversal of Fortune, Legal Eagles, The Ref, Addams Family Values, Welcome to Mooseport, The Guru, 9 1⁄2 Weeks, and Jeffrey.
Cicely Tyson: Actress, advocate, and humanitarian, Cicely Tyson is renowned for her portrayals of strong female characters on stage, screen, and television, from her stunning initial stage appearance as Barbara Allen in Dark of the Moon to her triumphant 2013 return to Broadway after a 30-year hiatus when she appeared as Mother Carrie Watts in Horton Foote’s The Trip to Bountiful for which she received rave reviews and the triple crown of theater awards: The Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Actress in a Play. Ms. Tyson appeared on the Broadway stage in September 2015 in The Gin Game, co-starring James Earl Jones.
Best known for her double Emmy performance (Best Lead Actress in a Drama, as well as a special, unprecedented Emmy Award for Actress of the Year) as Jane in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, Ms. Tyson was also nominated for an Academy Award for Sounder and received the third Emmy Award for The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All and was nominated for her performances in Roots, King, Sweet Justice, The Marva Collins Story, and A Lesson before Dying. Her film credits include The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Fried Green Tomatoes, Because of Winn-Dixie, Hoodlum, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Madea’s Family Reunion, Why Did I Get Married Too?, The Help, and Alex Cross.
In March 2014, Ms. Tyson served as executive producer of the film version of The Trip to Bountiful, presented on Lifetime television network. In 1977, as a student of the American Film Institute, Ms. Tyson directed the one-act play, Save Me a Place at Forest Lawn.
In recognition of her talent, dedication, and contributions, Ms. Tyson has been the recipient of countless awards, including numerous honorary doctorates, most recently by Columbia University in 2014, as well as an unprecedented number of NAACP Image Awards. Other notable honors have been bestowed on her by the Princess Grace Foundation, National Urban League, National Council of Negro Women, National Civil Rights Museum, and organizations: PUSH, CORE, SCLC, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center. Ms. Tyson is among the elite number of entertainers honored with a star on the Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame and is the recipient of the NAACP’s highest honor, the prestigious Spingarn Award.
Since 1996, Ms. Tyson has served as the guiding force of the Cicely L. Tyson Community School of Performing and Fine Arts. This $143 million institution of academic and creative expression, in East Orange, New Jersey, serves 1,200 students from kindergarten through 12th grade. Ms. Tyson continues to develop her art as she takes on new roles and opportunities.
Sylvia Waters: Since Alvin Ailey II’s inception over 40 years ago, Artistic Director Emerita Sylvia B. Waters has been responsible for the growth and expansion of one of the country’s most vibrant young dance companies.
Ms. Waters received her Bachelor of Science degree in dance from Juilliard, where she studied with Antony Tudor, Martha Graham, Alfredo Corvino, and Mary Hinkson.
She toured in the European company of Black Nativity and while living in Paris, she worked with Michel Descombey, then director of the Paris Opera Ballet, as well as Milko Sparembleck. She also performed in Donald McKayle’s European production of Black New World and worked with Maurice Béjart’s company performing in Brussels and at the summer Olympics in Mexico City.
Upon returning to the United States in 1968, Ms. Waters joined the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. In 1975, Mr. Ailey personally chose her to become artistic director of Ailey II until she stepped down in 2012. Ms. Waters is the recipient of many awards and honors, including an honorary doctorate from the State University of New York at Oswego, a “Bessie” Award, the Legacy Award as part of the 20th annual IABD Festival, Syracuse University’s Women of Distinction Award, and the prestigious Dance Magazine Award.
She has served on a number of panels including the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the Department of Cultural Affairs.
In the spring of 2010, she was a visiting professor at Harvard University. Currently, she leads The Ailey Legacy Residency, a lecture, technique, and repertory program for college-level students that looks definitely into the history and creative heritage of Alvin Ailey. Ms. Waters is a consultant to the Ailey Archives and is interviewing former Ailey personnel – dancers and choreographers – for an oral history project. #