Kunzel picks up his medal
President George W. Bush presented Cincinnati Pops conductor Erich Kunzel with the 2006 National Medal of Arts yesterday in an East Room ceremony at the White House.
Maestro Kunzel, you will remember, was in Shenzhen, China last year when the 2006 medalist's ceremony was held, conducting the Shenzhen Philharmonic.
He received his 2006 medal alongside the 2007 National Medal of Arts recipients in a ceremony that included Mrs. Laura Bush. Kunzel's medal, the nation's highest honor for artistic excellence, was "for his innovative achievements as a conductor. His remarkable Pops performances of classical and popular music have expanded the appeal of both and brought great music to millions," said the National Endowment for the Arts in a statement.
This year's recipients were composer Morten Lauridsen; painter Andrew Wyeth; guitar legend Les Paul; author N. Scott Momaday; arts patrons Roy R. Neuberger and Henry Steinway; Old Globe Theatre director R. Craig Noel; painter George Tooker; and the University of Idaho Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival.
The award was established by Congress in 1984.
Photo by Michael Stewart for the National Endowment for the Arts