Musical America, the internationally recognized performing arts directory and website founded as a weekly newspaper in 1898 and based in New York City, has announced its 2016 artists of the year, including two recipients of significant local interest: Tod Machover, based at MIT, honored as composer of the year, and Boston Modern Orchestra Project, named ensemble of the year.
Machover, who recently completed a stint as composer in residence at the prestigious Lucerne Festival in Switzerland, is widely known and admired as an artist at the forefront of technological innovation. He has been professor of music and media at the MIT Media Lab since it was founded in 1985, and is director of the Lab’s Hyperinstruments and Opera of the Future groups. “Tod Machover’s uniqueness,” Musical America states in its award announcement, “derives not only from his compositional abilities, but also from his imagination and inventiveness in the contexts he chooses to apply them.”
Boston Modern Orchestra Project, known to its admirers as BMOP and founded by the conductor Gil Rose in 1996, is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a concert season that starts this Sunday at Jordan Hall. Cited by Musical America for its commitment to “performing contemporary work, much of it American,” BMOP is being recognized for its enviable tally of achievements: “more than 100 premieres, and 50 recordings on its own label of works by the late Gunther Schuller, as well as the complete symphonies of Lukas Foss, and works of Irving Fine. It has received ASCAP’s Award for Adventurous Programming no fewer than 11 times.”
Musical America’s other 2016 honorees include the conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra and a frequent, prominent guest at the Metropolitan Opera, as artist of the year; the violinist Jennifer Koh (who will present a Celebrity Series recital in Cambridge on Nov. 18) as instrumentalist of the year; and the tenor Mark Padmore (whose October 2014 Gardner Museum recital was praised warmly by Globe reviewer Matthew Guerrieri) as vocalist of the year. The award winners will be honored in a Dec. 8 ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York.
Steve Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @nightafternight.