Philip Glass, Cher and Hamilton creators win Kennedy Center honours

Philip Glass, Cher and Hamilton creators win Kennedy Center honours


norman lebrecht

July 25, 2018

Press release, just in:

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts today announced the selection of four Honorees who will receive the 2018 Kennedy Center Honors for lifetime artistic achievements, and a special Honors distinction for a work of art and its co-creators. Recipients to be honored at the 41st annual national celebration of the arts are: singer and actress Cher, composer and pianistPhilip Glass, Country music entertainer Reba McEntire, and jazz saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter. This year, the co-creators of Hamilton—writer and actorLin-Manuel Miranda, director Thomas Kail, choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler, and music director Alex Lacamoire—will receive a unique Kennedy Center Honors as trailblazing creators of a transformative work that defies category.   

Do not expect the President to attend.



  • Olassus says:

    What a miserable crew — not one important musician.

    • duane says:

      Hey, Being from the Suothern USA I grew up on Reba. She is important somewhere, just not on a Classical Music site.

      Knock Knock.

      Who’s there?

      Knock Knock

      Who’s there

      Knock Knock………

      I’m working up my violin transcription of 4’33” for the occasion.

    • Sir Kitt says:

      Olassus –

      If you had said ‘I think they’re all useless and unworthy’ then fine, that’s your opinion. But I’ve got to disagree with your assertion that not one of them is ‘important’. You might think that Philip Glass is unimportant – I disagree. I don’t think that much of his music is very good (although there are a few gems in amongst the note-spinning mediocrity), but he has been enormously influential on classical music and commercial (film, TV, games) scores.

      You might think that Wayne Shorter is unimportant – I definitely disagree! Not only is he one of the most important jazz performers of the last 50 years, he is one of the finest composers America has ever produced. A vast number of tunes that have become standards via an astonishing range of interpretations. If someone asked me to name the most important American composers, I’d go Gershwin, Copland, Ellington, Carter, Cage and Shorter. Just my opinion, of course…

    • Dr Robert Davidson says:

      All highly important, of course – sorry you’re out of step with informed opinion.

  • Doug says:

    “Do not expect the President to attend.”

    Because if he does, the media will trumpet the headline: TRUMP IGNORES PRESSING ISSUES BY ATTENDING AWARD CEREMONY.


    Pure hivemind leftist thinking.

    • buxtehude says:

      So unfair.

      Sad, really.

    • USA says:

      Utter BS – all the presidents attended these, and the media never said it was distracting them from pressing issues.

      Both the L and R have used presidents golfing habits for this end, but not this – this is one of his official duties.

      Rump won’t attend because the people involved in the arts hate his guts, and he knows it. Nice try, however, to mold this into your own shape and blame “leftists”.

    • Sue says:

      Totally. And where are the rappers who were so often at the White House under the previous administration (you know, the President who couldn’t pronounce the name of Martha Argerich).

      Your comments about the media provide one reason that the mainstream media is in its death throws.

      • AKP says:

        Sue – you obviously know nothing about Hamilton the Musical! You also seem to be a bit confused about the Whitehouse Andy The Kennedy Centre. Not the same. I don’t think the mainstream media is Dying. It is evolving and hopefully there will always be good journalists around to expose the cheating, lying, fraudulent behaviour and general malevolence that some seek to normalise.

        • jaypee says:

          sue is a trumpanzee. Therefore she is clueless about practically everything besides mocking handicaped people, grabbing women by the pussy, having sex with prostitutes, cheating on taxes, conflicts of interest and a few other things… Interestingly, she insists in displaying her ignorance here daily because, like all trumpanzees, she has no pride. The fact that she unflichingly supports a cretin that works actively at destroying her country’s reputation around the world unfortunately says more about her that she’d wish. Sad!

      • Petros Linardos says:

        You recently criticized me for bashing Trump without providing analysis. Maybe you had a point. But you are now doing something similar from a different viewpoint.

        As for the mainstream media being in their death throws, that definitely does not apply for the New York Times, at least if their share price is anything to go by: it was around $11 during the last presidential election, and it is $24.45 now, just short of its 11 year high. It grew about 100% during Obama’s term, which saw 8 years of continuing economic growth.

      • Nina says:

        Death throes perhaps?

    • MacroV says:

      No, but they will note how he’s probably not too welcome by the honorees.

    • AKP says:

      Doug – sad that you have become part of the Trump Orwellian vision to destabilise order by undermining actual facts (not “alternative” ones). The President usually attends this event and without criticism. If Trump had chosen to attend I am sure the headline would have been more about him giving a nod to something vaguely cultural, which would have taken everyone by surprise.

    • jaypee says:

      Doug, like all trumpanzees, you are an idiot. Why do you insist in displaying it daily on slipped disc?
      Wouldn’t fox “news” be more appropriate for your moronic comments?

  • Robert Holmén says:

    It is high time that Cher finally got some attention after toiling in obscurity all these years.

    I hadn’t thought that Hamilton “defies category.” Every write up of it I’ve ever seen has called it “a Broadway musical”.

    None-the-less, congratulations to all the honorees, especially Philip Glass especially Philip Glass especially Philip Glass especially Philip Glass especially Philip Glass especially Philip Glass especially Philip Glass especially Philip Glass especially Philip Glass

  • buxtehude says:

    O thank God, and I’m thinking only of Glass, that’s enuf for me. Now that they’re putting him under glass, it shouldn’t be necessary, for the sake of preserving, to bronze him.

    The drama now turns to the question of, who will hang the medal round his neck? Will it be Melania? Ivanka? Sarah Huckerbee Sanders?

    The evening couldn’t possibly be complete without a full performance of, say, Einstein on the Beach. Net cams on the audience please, so we can tune in to watch the watchers from time to time.

  • MacroV says:

    Until they honor the Smothers Brothers, I’m sort-of boycotting.

    I still think Martha Argerich was an utterly inappropriate honoree; unquestionably a great artist, but with minimal influence on the American performing arts scene. I’d sooner have nominated Andre Watts, Garrick Ohlsson or Gary Graffman.

  • Luigi Nonono says:

    These awards continue to further lose their significance at each turn. Success is not importance. David del Tredici is far more important than Philip Glass will ever be. But Glass gets the publicity, because he appealed to hippies, hipsters and druggies. I’m surprised they didn’t include any rappers.
    Philadelphia’s Marian Anderson awards aren’t any better.