01/07/10

Pianist Marian McPartland Honored by Queen Elizabeth II

Piano Jazz host and recording artist awarded prestigious "Officer of the Order of the British Empire"

Legendary jazz pianist and National Public Radio host Marian McPartland was awarded the prestigious "Officer of the Order of the British Empire" honor by Queen Elizabeth II.

McPartland, one of two honorees with New York ties, received the citation (the highest honor other than "Dame") for services to jazz and for aspiring young musicians in the United States. The other awardee was Peter Dyce Tear, Executive Producer of 59E59 Theatres in New York, who was made a Member of the British Empire (MBE) honor for services to UK/US cultural relations.

"I am thrilled and proud to have received this great honor bestowed on me by Queen Elizabeth," said McPartland in a press release received today at JazzTimes. "I am truly grateful."

The Order of the British Empire recognizes distinguished service to the arts and sciences, public services outside the Civil Service and work with charitable and welfare organizations of all kinds.

Sir Alan Collins, British Consul-General in New York said in the press release: "I congratulate Ms. McPartland and Mr. [Peter Dyce] Tear on their well deserved honors. Their awards are an acknowledgement of the significant contribution each has made to the arts and for their roles in strengthening the UK-US relationship."

The 91 year-old McPartland continues to showcase the world's top musicians on NPR's longest-running and most widely carried jazz program, "Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz," which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary on-air. Currently, writer Paul DeBarros is writing the first biography on McPartland to be published by St. Martin's Press.

The long list of honors bestowed upon McPartland and the show include, a George Foster Peabody Award, the Gracie Allen Award given by American Women in Radio and Television, the National Music Council's American Eagle Award, and a Grammy Trustee's Award for lifetime achievement. After nearly 28 years as host of "Piano Jazz," in 2007, Marian was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame. She has received honorary degrees from Hamilton, Union, and Bates Colleges, Bowling Green University, and the University of South Carolina.

Queen Elizabeth's 2010 New Year Honors was announced on January 1, 2010. The UK honors system recognizes exceptional achievement and service to the nation.

For more information on National Public Radio's "Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz," please visit the NPR web site.

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