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Historian David McCullough, Composer Steve Reich to be Honored at Awards Luncheon

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Writer and historian David McCullough and contemporary music composer Steve Reich will receive the academy's most significant prizes — gold medals for distinguished achievements in biography and music — during the star- and literati-studded annual American Academy of Arts and Letters luncheon in Manhattan on Wednesday.

Also of note will be the presentation of the Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts, which will go to musician Pete Seeger. Seeger may perform when accepting the award, according to the academy.

Artist Joyce Pensato will get the Merit Medal for Painting. The Charles Ives Living in Music Award, which comes with a $200,000 prize, will go to composer James Matheson. Architect Kathryn Gustafson will receive the Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize in Architecture.

Ten new members will be inducted into the academy: artists Lynda Benglis, Robert Gober and Kara Walker; authors Michael Chabon, Jonathan Franzen and Jhumpa Lahiri; architects Elizabeth Diller and Kenneth Frampton; and composers Tobias Picker and Stephen Jaffe.

Singer Leontyne Price, composer Jo Kondo and artists Anish Kapoor and Yayoi Kusama will also be given honorary academy memberships. Actress Meryl Streep will be accepting Price's honorary membership award.

Here are the rest of this year's award winners:

  • Architects Hilary Ballon, Marlon Blackwell, Elizabeth Gray, Alan Organschi and Michael Maltzan will get Arts and Letters Awards in architecture.
  • Arts and Letters Awards in art will go to artists Jim Campbell, John Newman, Michael E. Smith, Rebecca Smith and Karl Wirsum.
  • Literature Arts and Letters Awards will go to Andre Dubus III, Adam Hochschild, David Lindsay-Abaire, Christopher Middleton, Julie Otsuka, Michael Palmer, Frederick Seidel and Timothy Snyder.
  • Paul Moravec, Frank Ticheli, Dan Welcher and John Zorn will get Arts and Letters Awards in music.
  • The Marc Blitzstein Memorial Award for Musical Theater will go to composer John Kander.
  • The Michael Braude Award for Light Verse will be awarded to essay writer Roger Angell.
  • Sculptor Forrest Myers will get the Jimmy Ernst Award in Art.
  • Author David Mitchell will get the E.M. Forster Award in Literature.
  • Composer Reena Esmail will get the Walter Hinrichsen Award in Music.
  • Composer Louis Karchin will receive the Andrew Imbrie Award in Music.
  • Charles Ives Fellowships in Music will go to Haralabos Stafylakis, Xi Wang, Niccolo Athens, Sean Friar, David Hertzberg, Takuma Itoh, Wang Jie and Chris Rogerson.
  • Writer Ismet Prcic will get the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction for his novel, Shards.
  • Artist Nicole Wittenberg will be awarded the John Koch Award in Art.
  • The Wladimir and Rhoda Lakond Award will go to composer Christopher Theofanidis.
  • The Goddard Lieberson Fellowships in Music will be awarded to composers Edmund Campion and Huck Hodge.
  • Artist Elisa Soliven will get the Willard L.Metcalf Award in Art.
  • The Katherine Anne Porter Award in Literature will go to writer Maureen Howard.
  • Matt Gould and Griffin Matthews will get the Richard Rodgers Awards in Musical Theater for their musical, "Witness Uganda."
  • Novelist Lucy Corin and poet Jessica Fisher will receive Rome Fellowships in Literature.
  • The Rosenthal Family Foundation Awards will go to artist Nathlie Provosty for art and writer and artist Teju Cole for literature.
  • Writer Peter Carey will get the Harold D. Vursell Memorial Award in Literature.
  • Poet and translator Michael Hofmann will get the Thornton Wilder Prize for Translation.
  • Film critic Andrew Sarris will get the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award in Literature.

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