New York, N.Y. - On the evening of Thursday, October 4, 2018, it was announced that violinist Leila Josefowicz has been awarded the 2018 Avery Fisher Prize. The announcement was made by Deborah Borda, Chair of the Avery Fisher Artist Program as well as President and CEO of the New York Philharmonic, from the stage of David Geffen Hall, following Ms. Josefowicz’s performance of Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto with the New York Philharmonic, conducted by its new Music Director Jaap van Zweden. The prestigious Avery Fisher Prize is given in recognition of musicians who represent the highest level of musical excellence and whose vision and leadership have taken classical music to an expanded level.
As the 2018 Avery Fisher Prize recipient, Ms. Josefowicz receives a monetary award of $100,000. On a marble plaque in David Geffen Hall, formerly Avery Fisher Hall, her name joins the twenty-three previous Prize recipients: Lynn Harrell, cellist and Murray Perahia, pianist (1975); Yo-Yo Ma, cellist (1978); Emanuel Ax, pianist (1979); Richard Goode, pianist (1980); Horacio Gutiérrez, pianist (1982); Elmar Oliveira, violinist (1983); Richard Stoltzman, clarinetist (1986); André Watts, pianist (1988); Yefim Bronfman, pianist (1991); Garrick Ohlsson, pianist (1994); violinists Sarah Chang, Pamela Frank and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg (1999); double bassist Edgar Meyer and clarinetist David Shifrin (2000); violinist Midori (2001); Emerson String Quartet (2004); Joshua Bell, violinist (2007); Gil Shaham, violinist (2008); Kronos Quartet (2011); Jeremy Denk, pianist (2014); and Claire Chase, flutist (2017).
The eighth violinist to be awarded an Avery Fisher Prize and the third recipient to be announced from the stage of David Geffen Hall, Leila Josefowicz now joins the Avery Fisher Artist Program’s Recommendation Board. Previously the recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 1994, the 2018 Avery Fisher Prize recipient was honored by the Program’s Executive Committee, Fisher family members, Maestro and Mrs. Jaap van Zweden, and invited guests at a post-concert reception at Lincoln Ristorante at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.
Expressing what receiving this award means to her, Ms. Josefowicz said: “I feel so privileged and honored to receive this prize. My goal will continue to be to enlarge and enrich the repertoire of the violin by commissioning and performing works of the 20th and 21st centuries. My intention is to help create new masterworks for future violinists to study and perform for audiences. It is so necessary that the great works of today be heard. I celebrate this art form of contemporary music and would like to encourage audiences to listen with a sense of adventure, openness, and curiosity, and not rely too much on familiarity. I deeply thank the Avery Fisher Artist Program for its trust and appreciation.”