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Maurice Abravanel Lifetime Distinguished Achievement Awardee

Awarded 1990

Conductor Maurice Abravanel (1903-1993) received the KWF’s first Lifetime Distinguished Achievement Award in a ceremony on 23 March 1990 at the International Kurt Weill Symposium in Duisburg, Federal Republic of Germany. During a shipboard dinner hosted by the mayor of the city, KWF president Kim H. Kowalke presented Abravanel with a Steuben glass sculpture “in recognition of lifetime devotion to the music of Kurt Weill on both sides of the Atlantic.” The citation listed the numerous performances and productions of concert and stage works which Abravanel had conducted, several of which were premieres, including Die sieben Todsünden, Knickerbocker Holiday, Lady in the Dark, One Touch of Venus, and Street Scene. Having studied music theory with Weill in Berlin, Abravanel remained a lifelong personal friend of Weill and champion of his music. In accepting the award, the distinguished conductor described himself modestly as “a servant faithful to the end, a Kurwenal to Weill’s Tristan.”

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