Five Avery Fisher Career Grants Awarded for 2015

Five new Avery Fisher Career Grants – the maximum number available in any one year – have been awarded to talented young and emerging musicians, all recognised by the Avery Fisher Artist Program board and committee as having ‘great potential for major careers in future’.

The recipients are violinists Paul Huang, Kristin Lee and Simone Porter (pictured); violist Matthew Lipman; and pianist Michael Brown. The announcement of the awards was made on 18 March as part of a special presentation at The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space at WQXR, New York’s classical music station. It was followed by performances from all five Career Grant recipients, which were recorded for radio broadcast and webstream by WQXR and will be aired on 6 April.

Each Career Grant recipient receives an award stipend of USD25,000 (€23,000), to be used for specific needs in furthering a career. Additionally, their performances are professionally audio/video recorded for the recipients’ unrestricted use.

This year’s round of five Career Grants bring the total number awarded to 136 since the scheme began nearly 40 years ago. All previous recipients are currently working musicians, with alumni including the likes of pianists Inon Barnatan and Joyce Yang; cellist Alisa Weilerstein; violinists Augustin Hadelich and Hilary Hahn; and the Calder Quartet.

The Avery Fisher Artist Program was established by the late philanthropist as part of a major gift to Lincoln Center in 1974, and continues to provide recognition in two categories – the Career Grants and the USD75,000 Prize – to outstanding instrumentalists and chamber ensembles, who must be US citizens or permanent US residents to qualify.

The programme’s executive committee currently includes Jed Bernstein, president of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; David Finckel and Wu Han, artistic directors of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; Pamela Frank, violinist; Ara Guzelimian, provost and dean of The Juilliard School; Yo-Yo Ma, cellist; and Matthew VanBesien, executive director at the New York Philharmonic.

(Simone Porter image © Jeff Fasano)

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