MTT shares DC honour with Sesame Street

MTT shares DC honour with Sesame Street


norman lebrecht

December 07, 2019

The 2019 Kennedy Center Honors are to be shared between ‘Sesame Street,’ Linda Ronstadt, Sally Field, Earth, Wind & Fire and Michael Tilson Thomas.

Which of them, one wonders, should feel most honoured in such uneven company?

Happily, the event is elevated by the absence of President Trump.


  • John Borstlap says:

    The last sentence is very much to the point.

    This event seems to reflect a genuine attempt to prevent the egalitarian world view from being challenged.

  • Sesame says:

    MTT should.

  • Jbarbirolli says:

    Why is Dudamel in the photo?

  • Bone says:

    Glad you don’t have to be an American, NL. MAGA!
    I was at the SFS concert the night MTT was announced as music director. The ovation was amazing and the performances were unreal – “rite of spring” was on fire!

  • Brian says:

    Trump would be booed if he dared to attend, just like he was at the World Series and at the Veteran’s Day parade.

    Yes, this is a rather motley group of awardees. It always is.

  • Guest 123 says:

    What makes the honors is distinct is because of presidential attendance. Since the US is without someone who is presidential, it is now without. For the better. Hopefully when a real president is elected they will continue the tradition of attending.

  • MacroV says:

    What do you mean by “uneven company?” Are you looking down your nose at “Sesame Street?” It has had an incredible cultural and education impact in the United States.

    But I’m not watching it until they honor the Smothers Brothers.

  • Nightowl says:

    I like the picture.
    Elmo in front of his darker haired older brother.

  • drummerman says:

    From their website: ““The Kennedy Center Honors celebrates icons who, through their artistry, have left an indelible stamp on our collective cultural consciousness,”

    No disrespect to Ms. Field, an Oscar Award winner, but I fail to see how she meets this standard. The Awards show has become 99% commercial, since they are trying to appeal to the widest possible audience. I honestly think it might be best to make the award every 2 years – there simply are not that many people of the highest caliber to choose from annually.

    • Orchestral Musician says:

      The event itself is a money making enterprise for the Kennedy Center, with a goal of obtaining good TV ratings on a commercial network. The ratings have been very low for the past several years, and you can expect more hosts and honorees from American Pop culture as the management and board work to popularize the “star-studded” gala.

      • TubaMinimum says:

        It seems like we talk all the time here about European versus American models of government support in the arts. Since this is one of the few institutions that receives federal government support, it only makes sense that the art genres and artists they present and honor change as the country’s do. If it’s supposed to be America’s performing arts center, mixing so-called “high” and “low” art genres (the latter of which have probably had far more global cultural impact) feels both appropriate and a good survival strategy.

  • FrauGeigerin says:

    I tried hard, but as the harder I tried the less I cared about this award, MTT, and whatever Donald Trump does or doesn’t do in regard to culture in his country.

  • MusicBear88 says:

    Joshua Bell, Victor Borge, Plácido Domingo, Gustavo Dudamel, Renée Fleming, James Galway, Denyce Graves, Marilyn Horne, Isabel Leonard, Yo-Yo Ma, Seiji Ozawa, Itzhak Perlman, Samuel Ramey, Nadja Solerno-Sonnenberg, Isaac Stern, and Richard Stoltzman are just some of the classical greats who have appeared on Sesame Street. They’ve also affectionately had the parodies Leonard Birdseed, Plácido Flamingo, and Renata Scottie (a Scottish terrier who sings).

  • Edgar says:

    Of course, as everyone knows, the REAL show in town is The Impeachment. Who cares about the Kennedy Center Honors…

  • Bruce says:

    I wouldn’t call the company “uneven.” Say what you like about any of the honorees — they all are are, or have been, frickin’ great at what they do and have had a big impact on American culture/ pop culture. Not liking any or all of them doesn’t change that.

  • Myrtar says:

    Nice photo with 3 puppets.

  • Karl says:

    Chief Cheeto wasn’t there, but Linda Ronstadt and Mike Pompeo went toe to toe…

  • Rob says:

    We all love MTT!