Arts World Dignitaries Honored

Stephen McKinley Henderson (photo: Nate Jensen), Thomas Ades (photo: Brian Voce), Martina Arroyo, Dick Hyman, Frayda Lindemann, Carla Maxwell (photo: Nan Melville)


This month's flurry of final concerts, presentations, exams, and everything else culminates in Juilliard's 112th commencement. The festivities begin the evening of May 18, when Thomas Adès conducts the Juilliard Orchestra's soon-to-be graduates in their final concert. The next day, Adès will join other arts world luminaries—Stephen McKinley Henderson, Carla Maxwell, Martina Arroyo, Dick Hyman, and Frayda B. Lindemann—in receiving honorary doctorates. Henderson will be the graduation speaker.

Thursday, May 18, 7:30pm

Alice Tully Hall

Friday, May 19, 11:00am


Thomas Adès

Honorary Doctor of Music

British composer Thomas Adès will make his Juilliard Orchestra conducting debut leading his own Polaris as well as Beethoven's Fifth Symphony in the commencement concert. He has composed three operas: Powder Her Face had its premiere in 1995; The Tempest premiered at the Royal Opera House in 2004 and has subsequently been staged by, among others, the Metropolitan, Vienna State, and Hungarian State operas, with the Met recording winning a Grammy. Adès's most recent opera, The Exterminating Angel, premiered last July at the Salzburg Festival and will have its North American premiere at the Metropolitan Opera on October 26. His large-scale orchestral commissions include In Seven Days, Tevot, and Totentanz in addition to Polaris; he's also written for chamber ensemble, solo piano, and chorus. Adès has conducted the Vienna Philharmonic and the London Symphony, and serves as the first-ever artistic partner to the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He frequently appears as a pianist in solo and recital work, often with tenor Ian Bostridge, cellist Steven Isserlis, and pianist Kirill Gerstein.

Martina Arroyo

Honorary Doctor of Music

Through soprano Martina Arroyo's namesake foundation, she has been invaluable to the opera field as a result of her teaching and commitment to young artist development. Arroyo's performing career brought her from the Metropolitan Opera­—where she made her debut in Aïda in 1965 and sang in nearly 200 Met performances over 19 years—to the Vienna State, Paris, and Royal opera houses as well as La Scala and Teatro Colón. Her repertoire included all the major Verdi roles, the title role in Puccini's Madama Butterfly, and roles in operas by Mozart, Mascagni, Ponchielli, and Wagner. She is the recipient of a 2013 Kennedy Center Honor and 2010 Opera Honors Award from the National Endowment for the Arts; she served on its National Council on the Arts and continues to participate as a panelist and moderator. Arroyo is on the boards of Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Opera Guild, MasterVoices, and the VoiceFoundation.

Stephen McKinley Henderson

Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts

“When you're working on a scene, don't get it right, get it true,” Stephen McKinley Henderson (Group 1) told Variety last fall. The interview focused on the stage, film, and TV actor's work in the feature film Fences, which was based on the August Wilson play. Henderson is a noted interpreter of Wilson's work and received a Tony nomination and the Richard Seff Award for his performance in the 2010 Broadway revival of Fences. Henderson received Obie and Lucille Lortel lead actor awards for Stephen Adly Guirgis's playwright's Between Riverside and Crazy. He has appeared in the HBO series Newsroom, Lincoln, and Tower Heist; his most recent film, in addition to Fences, was Manchester by the Sea. A retired faculty member and former chair of the department of theater and dance at the State University of Buffalo, he's a Fox Foundation Fellow and a guest master class teacher at Juilliard.

Dick Hyman

Honorary Doctor of Music

Dick Hyman has worked as a pianist, jazz organist, arranger, music director, and composer and has film scores, orchestral pieces, and more than 100 albums to his name. He was also the artistic director of the 92nd Street Y's acclaimed Jazz in July series for 20 years and will perform in it this summer. Hyman has researched and recorded piano music by Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton, Duke Ellington, and Fats Waller; in 2009, Arbors Records released his six-disc Century of Jazz Piano. His orchestral pieces include two piano concertos, a clarinet concerto, and a cantata based on Mark Twain's autobiography. Hyman was music director for Arthur Godfrey, orchestrated the hit musical Sugar Babies, and has served as a composer, arranger, conductor, and pianist for many Woody Allen films. In April, the National Endowment for the Arts named him a Jazz Master.

Frayda B. Lindemann

Honorary Doctor of Music

Frayda B. Lindemann lends her name, along with a great deal of time and support, to the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, which provides training for gifted young singers; the program has introduced a new generation of artists who are currently performing at the Met and other houses. Lindemann is also vice president of the Metropolitan Opera Association and has been a managing director of the board since 1991. She has also been a member of the Lincoln Center board and is the immediate past board chairman of Opera America. For 35 years, she also supported young musical talent through her work with Young Concert Artists. In 1978, Lindemann received a PhD in musicology from Columbia University. She taught music at Hunter College for 12 years and now serves as co-chair of the music advisory board at Hunter.

Carla Maxwell

Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts

Carla Maxwell (BS '67, dance) joined José Limón's dance company in 1965 and shortly thereafter became a principal dancer. When Limón (faculty 1951-72) died, in 1972, Maxwell became assistant artistic director and then, in 1978, artistic director. Under her leadership, the José Limón Dance Company emerged as one of the finest repertory dance ensembles in the world and also the first major U.S. modern dance company to survive its founder's death. Maxwell has received Dance Magazine and Bessie awards for her work as an administrator, performer, teacher, and guardian of dance history. She danced the title role in Limón's Carlota, which he created for her, and has reconstructed many of his dances for the company and created work for Limón and other companies around the world. She teaches internationally as a representative of the José Limón Dance Foundation, of which she is legacy director.

Recent Issues