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2012 National Medal of Arts Recipients Announced

Alpert, Toussaint among awardees

Herb Alpert at the Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, Texas 2000
Renee Fleming
Allen Toussaint

The White House announced today the 2012 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal recipients. Among the Arts medalists are trumpeter Herb Alpert, singer-pianist-composer-producer Allen Toussaint and the versatile soprano Renée Fleming.

The awardees will receive their medals from President Obama, at a ceremony in the White House’s East Room on July 10.

In a press release, the White House praised Alpert “for his varied contributions to music and the fine arts. The musician behind the Tijuana Brass phenomenon and co-founder of A&M Records, which launched several storied careers, Mr. Alpert is also a philanthropist who shares the power of arts education with young people across our country.”

Toussaint, said the release, is being commended “for his contributions as a composer, producer, and performer. Born and raised in New Orleans, Mr. Toussaint has built a legendary career alongside America’s finest musicians, sustaining his city’s rich tradition of rhythm and blues and lifting it to the national stage.”

Fleming “has captivated audiences around the world with an adventurous repertoire spanning opera and the classical tradition to jazz and contemporary pop.”

The Washington Performing Arts Society, the long-running organization responsible for many memorable jazz concerts in D.C., will also receive a medal.

The full list of 2012 Arts medalists is below:

Herb Alpert (trumpeter, record executive)

Lin Arison (philanthropist)

Joan Myers Brown (dancer-choreographer)

Renée Fleming (vocalist)

Ernest Gaines (author, teacher)

Ellsworth Kelly (visual artist)

Tony Kushner (playwright, screenwriter)

George Lucas (filmmaker)

Elaine May (filmmaker, actress)

Laurie Olin (landscape architect)

Allen Toussaint (musician, composer)

Washington Performing Arts Society (arts organization)

Originally Published