Inon Barnatan

Avery Fisher Artist Program Awards Five Career Grants for 2009

On April 23rd at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts,
Nathan Leventhal, the Program's Chairman, Charles Avery Fisher and Nancy Fisher
announced five 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipients:

Inon Barnatan, pianist; Alessio Bax, pianist;
Alexander Fiterstein, clarinetist;
Augustin Hadelich, violinist; Arnaud Sussmann, violinist
The Avery Fisher Artist Program, established by the late Avery Fisher as part of a major gift to Lincoln Center in 1974, serves as a monument to Mr. Fisher’s philanthropy and love of music, with the Career Grants in particular exemplifying his devotion to helping young artists.  Since the first Career Grants were given in 1976, 114 have been awarded (including this year’s grants), and all recipients are currently working musicians. Identified early in their careers, among former Career Grant recipients are Jonathan Biss, Jeremy Denk, Hilary Hahn, Anne-Marie McDermott, Edgar Meyer, The Miró Quartet and Alisa Weilerstein.

Festivities were held at Lincoln Center’s Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse for an invited audience.  This year’s announcement, made by the Program’s Chairman Nathan Leventhal, along with Charles Avery Fisher and Nancy Fisher (children of the late Avery Fisher), and performances by four of the five recipients were taped for broadcast by WQXR ~ 96.3 FM, with host Robert Sherman, to be aired on Monday, May 4th, from 8-9 pm.  The fifth recipient, Inon Barnatan, was unable to participate due to his performance schedule. The 2009 awards mark the 30th time WQXR has broadcast these festivities, having been a broadcast partner since the first Career Grants were awarded in 1976.

Under the banner of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Avery Fisher Artist Program has launched a new website as of March 2009.  Information about the Program (Avery Fisher Prize and Career Grants), is available online at  Links to today’s 2009 Career Grant performances, as well as past recipients’ Career Grant ceremony performances, will be available on this website later this year.  

Avery Fisher Career Grants of the Avery Fisher Artist Program are designed to give professional assistance and recognition to talented instrumentalists as well as chamber ensembles whom the Recommendation Board and Executive Committee of the Avery Fisher Artist Program believe to have great potential for major careers.  The award stipend is $25,000. This amount is made available to each recipient, to be used for specific needs in furthering a career.  Recognizing the need for video in a young career, the Avery Fisher Artist Program, with the aid of Live From Lincoln Center’s Executive Producer John  Goberman, provides recipients with an unrestricted DVD of the day’s performance to aid them in publicizing their work.

Up to five Avery Fisher Career Grants may be given each year with recipients being U.S. citizens or permanent U.S. residents.  Recipients are nominated by the Program's Recommendation Board, which comprises nationally known instrumentalists, conductors, composers, music educators, managers and presenters.  Final selections are made by the Executive Committee, whose members are: Emanuel Ax, pianist; David Finckel and Wu Han, Artistic Directors, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; Henry Fogel, Dean, Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University; Anthony Fogg, Artistic Administrator, Boston Symphony Orchestra; Pamela Frank, violinist; Ara Guzelimian, Provost and Dean, The Juilliard School; Nathan Leventhal, Chairman, Avery Fisher Artist Program; Reynold Levy, President, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; Yo-Yo Ma, cellist; Zarin Mehta, President and Executive Director, New York Philharmonic; Jane S. Moss, Vice-President, Programming, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; and Joseph W. Polisi, President, The Juilliard School.  Mrs. Avery Fisher, Charles Avery Fisher and Nancy Fisher are advisors to the Executive Committee.  The Program periodically also awards the Avery Fisher Prize.  The Avery Fisher Artist Program is grateful to Lincoln Center, Inc., and its President Reynold Levy for continued support.