James Conlon
Shuman Associates

New York, NY (July 24, 2013) – Conductor James Conlon received the 2012 Cohon Award from the Rabbi Samuel S. and A. Irma Cohon Memorial Foundation in a ceremony hosted by the Illinois Holocaust and EducationCenter in Skokie, IL on Tuesday, July 23. Mr. Conlon was honored with the Cohon Award in the “Creative Arts” field for his unique work in recovering the music of composers suppressed by the Nazi regime, thus contributing significantly both to Jewish history and to the world of music. The 2012 Cohon Award carries a prize of $30,000, which Mr. Conlon requested be directed to The OREL Foundation, www.orelfoundation.org, an invaluable resource on the topic of suppressed composers of the Twentieth Century for music lovers, students, musicians and scholars.

Established by the children and grandchildren of Rabbi Samuel S. and A. Irma Cohon, the Foundation presents awards once yearly to individuals for accomplishments that benefit Klal Yisroel – the entire Jewish people. Further information about the Cohon Award, including past winners, can be found on the Foundation’s website, www.cohonaward.com.

For more than forty years, James Conlon has held a place among classical music’s most respected conductors. In an effort to raise public consciousness to the significance of works of composers whose lives and compositions were suppressed by the Nazi regime, he has devoted himself to extensive programming of the music in North America and Europe, and through his “Breaking the Silence” series at Ravinia and his “Recovered Voices” series at LA Opera.

Mr. Conlon is currently conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival in four more weeks of concerts including a performance of works by Walter Braunfels, Adolph Busch, Benjamin Britten and Samuel Barber; Britten’s The Burning Fiery Furnace with singers from the Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute; and a concert performance of Verdi’s Aida starring Latonia Moore, Michelle DeYoung and Roberto Alagna.

This season at LA Opera, he conducts Verdi’s Falstaff, Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, and Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, as well as Britten’s Billy Budd – the culminating opera in a three-year Britten performance cycle in honor of the 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth. Over the past three seasons Mr. Conlon has conducted opera, orchestra and choral works throughout the U.S. and Europe, and this year in Los Angeles, he spearheads a more than year long celebration of the Britten Centennial with Britten 100/LA: A Celebration, a county-wide collaboration featuring performances, conferences and exhibitions presented by a host of organizations. For more information on his Britten cycle visit www.jamesconlon.com/britten.

Mr. Conlon is the recipient of numerous awards for his efforts in championing the works of suppressed composers including the Roger E. Joseph prize from the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute for Religion in 2013, a Crystal Globe Award from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in 2007 and the Zemlinsky Prize in 1999. In 1996 he was named an Officier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government, and in 2004 was promoted to Commander.

The Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Holocaust by honoring the memories of those who were lost and by teaching universal lessons that combat hatred, prejudice and indifference. The Museum fulfills its mission through the exhibition, preservation and interpretation of its collections and through education programs and initiatives that foster the promotion of human rights and the elimination of genocide. Learn more at www.illinoisholocaustmuseum.org