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Tribute to the Classical Arts 

Jeanie Riess reports on the Big Easy Foundation's annual salute to dance, opera and orchestra

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The the Foundation for Entertainment Development and Education (FEDE) awarded achievements in classical arts and dance in 2013 and presented performances from nominated artists at the 20th annual Tribute to the Classical Arts Awards luncheon at the Hotel Monteleone Friday, Feb. 14.

In honor of Valentine's Day, Romeo and Juliet hosted this year's award show. After centuries in the grave, Juliet had grown tired of her star-crossed lover, and Romeo did some crowdsourcing to win her back. Audience members were asked to answer the question, "What is the most romantic gesture you have ever received?" While introducing performances and saluting presenters, Romeo sifted through the answers to find the one that would help him win back Juliet.

Pianist Daniel O. Weilbaecher Jr. received the Lifetime Achievement Award. Weilbaecher teaches piano and theory at the Newcomb Department of Music at Tulane University and has performed across the country. He is the founder of the New Orleans Piano Institute. He recently stepped down as executive director of the Musical Arts Society of New Orleans, a position he held for nearly two decades.

Gambit Political Editor Clancy DuBos presented the Arts Patron of the Year Award to Nicolas and Haydee Bazan for their work with the New Orleans Opera Association. Both are Mastersigner co-chairs for the association. Nicolas also helped develop the first artist residency at the LSUHSC Neuroscience Center for Excellence, in which artists create oil paintings to represent the intricacies of the human brain. Make Music NOLA was recognized with the Arts Education Award. The nonprofit began offering free music lessons to students at All Souls Church & Community Center in 2011. The organization has expanded to three schools and provides instruction to about 60 students who perform at various festivals and events. Make Music NOLA will host a two-week intensive music camp in the 9th Ward this summer.

There were five performances from various nominees, including the dance Taken, choreographed by Kesha McKey and performed by members of Crescent City Choreographers. Anne Burr, Hall Piano Company and Uptown Costume & Dancewear joined Gambit, Coleman E. Adler & Sons and WWNO 89.9 FM Radio in sponsoring the event. Proceeds benefit FEDE. The ceremony was dedicated to John Burr.

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Tribute to the Classical Arts
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Tribute to the Classical Arts

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SPECIAL HONOREES

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Daniel O. Weilbaecher Jr.

ARTS PATRON AWARD
Drs. Nicolas & Haydee Bazan

ARTS EDUCATION AWARD
Make Music NOLA



Classical Arts Award Winners

BEST CLASSICAL MUSIC PERFORMANCE
Britten Centennial Celebration Carlos Miguel Prieto, Conductor Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra

BEST CHAMBER MUSIC PRESENTATION
Louisiana Musical Treasures from the Bibliotheque Nationale de France
Peter Collins, Sarah Jane McMahon,
Joseph Meyer The Historic New Orleans Collection

BEST PERFORMANCE OF NEW CLASSICAL MUSIC
Dreams of the Fallen
Jake Runestad, Composer
Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra
The National World War II Museum

BEST OPERA PRODUCTION
Madame Butterfly
Robert Lyall, Conductor
Tomer Zvulun, Director
New Orleans Opera Association

BEST STUDENT/COMMUNITY OPERA PRODUCTION
Candide
Carol Rausch, Conductor
Bill Fabris, Director
Loyola University

BEST CHORAL ARTS PRESENTATION
Vespers of 1610 by Claudio Monteverdi
Marigny Opera House
Francis Scully, Conductor

BEST CREATIVE ACHIEVEMENT IN CLASSICAL MUSIC 2013
Great Britten: Celebrating the 100th Birthday of Benjamin Britten
Frances Rabalais, Director
Carol Rausch, Music Director
Loyola Opera Workshop

OUTSTANDING BALLET PRESENTATION
"Pas de Six" from La Vivandiere
Loyola Ballet Celebrates National Dance Week
Staged by Laura Zambrano
Loyola Ballet

OUTSTANDING MODERN DANCE PRESENTATION
"Keeper of the Flame"
New Dance Festival 2013: Program One
Good Dance Since 1984

OUTSTANDING ETHNIC DANCE PRESENTATION
Dance For Life Concert
Nfungotah Inc.

OUTSTANDING CONTEMPORARY DANCE PRESENTATION
"House is Not A Home/When"
Southern Voices: Dance Out Loud 6
Jarrell Hamilton Dance Repertoire

OUTSTANDING CHOREOGRAPHY
"South/South"
New Dance Festival 2013: Program Two
Diogo De Lima, Choreographer

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