Ronald Freed Lifetime Distinguished Achievement Awardee
The sixth recipient of the Lifetime Distinguished Achievement Award was music publisher Ronald Freed (1937-2002), who died suddenly at age 64. As president of European American Music for nearly three decades, Freed was the key figure internationally in promoting and publishing Weill’s music. He partnered with the Foundation in reclaiming copyrights in the British reversionary territories, helped to develop a worldwide promotional plan with Schott and Universal Edition, worked indefatigably for Weill’s centenary global celebration, helped to found and co-publish the Kurt Weill Edition, and published the first comprehensive guide to Weill’s oeuvre. His devotion to the Weill cause was unflagging, his enthusiasm boundless. His encyclopedic knowledge of copyright laws, a nearly infallible memory for contractual detail, and a phenomenal capacity to juggle countless tasks were put in the service of what he loved most: the music itself. His pivotal role in the perpetuation of Weill’s legacy prompted the trustees of the Foundation to confer the Award posthumously. Kowalke announced it publicly in a tribute which appeared in the spring 2002 issue of the Kurt Weill Newsletter.