Meryl Streep, Yo-Yo Ma, Barbara Cook, Neil Diamond, Sonny Rollins: Kennedy Center Honors 2011

Meryl Streep, Kennedy Center HonorsTwo-time Academy Award-winning actress Meryl Streep (right), singer Barbara Cook, singer and songwriter Neil Diamond, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and saxophonist and composer Sonny Rollins will receive the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts' 2011 Kennedy Center Honors.

The Kennedy Center Honors ceremony will be held on Sunday, December 4, on the Kennedy Center Opera House stage. The Kennedy Center Honors medallions will be presented on Saturday, December 3, at a State Department dinner hosted by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. An edited version of the ceremony will be broadcast on CBS for the 34th consecutive year as a two-hour primetime special on Tuesday, December 27, at 9:00 p.m. (ET/PT). The event will be produced by George Stevens Jr. and Michael Stevens.

From the Kennedy Center Honors' press release:

“The Honors recipients recognized for their lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts—whether in dance, music, theater, opera, motion pictures, or television—are selected by the Center's Board of Trustees. The primary criterion in the selection process is excellence. The Honors are not designated by art form or category of artistic achievement; the selection process, over the years, has produced balance among the various arts and artistic disciplines.

“Past Honors recipients, as well as members of the Kennedy Center's national artists committee, made recommendations of possible 2011 Honorees. Artists making recommendations included: Christine Baranski, Harolyn Blackwell, Glenn Close, Denyce Graves, Paloma Herrera, Bill Irwin, Evgeny Kissin, Patti LuPone, Sarah Jessica Parker, and James Taylor. Previous Kennedy Center Honorees, including Julie Andrews, Dave Brubeck, Carol Burnett, Plácido Domingo, Steve Martin, Jack Nicholson, Jessye Norman, Stephen Sondheim, Steven Spielberg, and Stevie Wonder also made nominations.”

In addition to the aforementioned names, past Kennedy Center Honors recipients include Marian Anderson, Fred Astaire, Ella Fitzgerald, Henry Fonda, Helen Hayes, Martha Graham, Tennessee Williams, James Cagney, Bette Davis, Lynn Fontanne, Cary Grant, Lillian Gish, Myrna Loy, Harry Belafonte, and Claudette Colbert.

Also: Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, Rise Stevens, Jule Styne, Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy, Paul McCartney, Roger Daltrey, Billy Wilder, Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Barbra Streisand, Irene Dunne, Lauren Bacall, Bob Dylan, Charlton Heston, Elia Kazan, Frank Sinatra, James Stewart, and Shirley Temple.

Photo: Brigitte Lacombe

Meryl Streep, Yo-Yo Ma, Barbara Cook, Neil Diamond, Sonny Rollins: Kennedy Center Honors 2011 © 2004–2018 Alt Film Guide and/or author(s).
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