Erich Kunzel '57 will lead the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra this weekend during the opening festivities of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. The orchestra, under his direction since its inception in 1977, is the only international ensemble invited to perform during the opening ceremonies. The Pops will perform twice at the Olympiad, with its first performance a Gala Olympic Concert at the new concert hall at the National Centre for the Performing Arts on August 9. On the evening of August 10, the orchestra will present an outdoor concert on the Olympic Green.
"It is incredibly humbling to be asked to perform as part of the prestigious Summer Olympic Opening Weekend ceremonies," said Kunzel. "It is a great honor for the City of Cincinnati, and indeed for the United States of America. It is like a dream come true to celebrate athletic talent and musical talent across cultures."
Kunzel received an honorary degree from Dartmouth in 2007. He is the 2006 recipient of the National Medal of Arts, the U.S. government's highest honor for artists and art patrons. His numerous other honors include a Distinguished Alumnus Award from Phi Delta Theta International in recognition of outstanding achievements in the performing arts, the 1995 "Others" award from the Salvation Army in honor of his contributions to the city of Cincinnati, and the 1989 Sony Tiffany Walkman Award for "visionary recording activities."
Questions or comments about this article? We welcome your feedback.
Last Updated: 8/9/08