MTT shares DC honour with Sesame Street

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.

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  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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).

  • 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.

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