Lawrence University pianist Michael Mizrahi has been named one of five international recipients of the S&R Foundation’s 2014 Washington Award.
Presented annually by the Washington, D.C.-based foundation, the Washington Award recognizes individuals who display outstanding ability and artistic excellence. It supports those who contribute to an international cultural dialogue.
Mizrahi, assistant professor of music at Lawrence, will be formally honored May 30 at the S&R Washington Awards Gala at the Halcyon House in the Georgetown district of the nation’s capital. He will receive a $5,000 cash prize in support of his career.
“We are thrilled that Michael has won the Washington Award,” said Brian Pertl, dean of the Lawrence Conservatory of Music. “Since the award is specifically for talented individuals with high aspirations in the arts, I can’t imagine a better recipient. Michael is always pushing musical boundaries, working closely with composers to create new works, redefining the relationship between audience and performer and bringing live performance to underserved audiences. This award will help him take his musical aspirations to the next level.”
According to Sachiko Kuno, CEO and president of the S&R Foundation, the 2014 Washington Award winners “are dynamic artists who are engaged with their communities and with audiences worldwide.
“We applaud their drive and aspirations and are proud to support them towards the next steps in their creative development,” said Kuno in announcing the award winners.
Mizrahi joined the conservatory of music faculty in 2009. His debut album, “The Bright Motion” on New Amsterdam Records, was included on both Time Out New York’s and Time Out Chicago’s list of best classical albums for 2012. The video of the album’s title track was featured on National Public Radio’s “Deceptive Cadence,” which hailed it as “a meditation on quietude amidst unceasing movement, a thick-walled cell of solitary contentment in the churn of daily life.”
His recording portfolio also includes the world premiere of three works for violin and piano by Aaron Copland.
He is a founding member of both NOW Ensemble, a chamber group devoted to commissioning and performing new music by emerging composers, and the Moët Trio. He also is a member of the New York City-based chamber ensemble Decoda, which creates innovative performances and engaging projects with partners around the world.
Mizrahi is currently co-directing the project “Music for All: Connecting Musicians and Community.” The project is supported by a $16,700 Arts and Culture grant from unrestricted funds within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region and is designed to bring classical chamber music to settings where such music is not normally performed.
Joining Mizrahi as 2014 Washington Award winners were:
The S&R Washington Award recipients for 2014 are:
• Nabil Shehata, double bassist and conductor
• Tamás Krizsa, dancer, choreographer
• Erzhan Kulibaev, violinist
• Huanhuan Ma, soprano
About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.