Audra McDonald and Harold Prince Among Inaugural Class of Legends at Lincoln Center

News   Audra McDonald and Harold Prince Among Inaugural Class of Legends at Lincoln Center The inaugural class of Legends at Lincoln Center: The Performing Arts Hall of Fame, which "celebrates unparalleled excellence in the arts," was announced Feb. 11 by Jed Bernstein, president of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

The inductees for the 2016 inaugural class are Louis Armstrong, Plácido Domingo, Yo-Yo Ma, Audra McDonald, Leontyne Price and Harold Prince.

The inaugural induction ceremony and gala will take place June 20 at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall and will include tribute performances. The inductees will be acknowledged with an award designed by Thomas Heatherwick of London’s Heatherwick Studio. Proceeds from the gala will benefit Lincoln Center and its resident organizations.

Hal Prince
Hal Prince Photo by Monica Simoes

“We are extremely proud to honor this inaugural class of inductees whose deep generosity of spirit and passion and exceptional creativity and tenacity have shaped and continue to shape the performing arts. As a class, they represent the diversity of the arts and artists celebrated at Lincoln Center each and every day and their contributions have added joy and wonder to our lives,” said Bernstein in a statement.

Yo-Yo Ma added, “I am honored to be among the inaugural inductees to the named Legends of Lincoln Center, and to share this distinction with such an illustrious group. In creating this new Legends Hall of Fame, the Center not only celebrates the performing arts but also pays tribute to the extraordinary vision, dedication and contributions of those who founded this great cultural center.”

Commented Prince, “I don’t spend much time looking back. What excites me so much about this honor is the chance to communicate my love of the performing arts to new audiences each day, with each visitor who spends time on this beautiful campus.” McDonald stated, “Ever since I moved to New York to attend The Juilliard School, I’ve spent so much of my life at Lincoln Center that I consider it my home away from home. To receive this honor and be included among this incredibly esteemed group of artists is beyond my wildest dreams.”

To honor and memorialize the Legends, their names will be integrated into the paving stones on Josie Robertson Plaza. The inset names will each be accompanied by a marker, which will enable an interactive experience through a free app. Visitors may scan the individual markers with their mobile devices to access interpretive content and stories about the inductees.

In order to recognize the individuals who have contributed significantly to Lincoln Center’s history, Legends at Lincoln Center has established a special class of inductees—Founding Legends—who will be celebrated during this inaugural year.

As previously reported, the Founding Legends follow:
Amyas Ames
George Balanchine
Morton Baum
Vivian Beaumont
Leonard Bernstein
Rudolf Bing
Anthony Bliss
Gordon J. Davis
Avery Fisher
Bernard Gersten
Lincoln Kirstein
James Levine
John V. Lindsay
Wynton Marsalis
Peter Martins
William F. May
Peter Mennin
Carlos Moseley
Gregory Mosher
Mitzi E. Newhouse
Jerome Robbins
John D. Rockefeller III
Richard Roud
William Schuman
Martin E. Segal
Beverly Sills
Charles M. Spofford
Carleton Sprague Smith
Alice Tully and Charles Wadsworth

Legends at Lincoln Center, according to a press statement, is committed to "enhancing Lincoln Center as a destination to visit anytime, making interactive exhibits and installations available for free in campus buildings and public spaces to educate, inspire, and entertain new and existing audiences."

The 2016 Nominating Committee for the inaugural Legends at Lincoln Center follow: Ted Chapin, president and chief creative officer at Rodgers and Hammerstein: An Imagem Company; Patricia Cruz, executive director of Harlem Stage; Michael Dorf, founder and CEO of City Winery; Anna Kisselgoff, reporter, lecturer and former New York Times chief dance critic; Rajendra Roy, The Celeste Bartos Chief Curator of Film at the Museum of Modern Art; Marc A. Scorca, president and CEO of OPERA America; Matías Tarnopolsky, executive and artistic director of Cal Performances at University of California, Berkeley; Marietta Ulacia, executive director of Afro Latin Jazz Alliance; and Wayne Winborne, executive director of the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University, Newark.

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