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Gambit's Tribute to the Classical Arts 

Lauren LaBorde on the annual awards for the best in dance, orchestra and opera

The Big Easy Foundation recognized achievements in classical arts in 2012 and presented performances from nominated artists at the 19th annual Tribute to the Classical Arts awards luncheon Monday, Jan. 7. Master of ceremonies WWL-TV anchor Angela Hill, began the ceremony by saluting local artists. "You are the color, texture, creativity and talent of this community," she said. "You are the gift."

Xavier University's John Ware presented Albinas Prizgintas, musician and Trinity Episcopal Church director of music ministries, the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award. Prizgintas and his wife Manon produce weekly concerts at the church through the Trinity Artist Series, as well as special events like the annual Bach Around the Clock festival. Gambit editor and political columnist Clancy DuBos presented KIDsmART with the Arts Education Award. Richard and Ann Cox Strub received the Arts Patron Award.

The audience enjoyed powerful dance performances by nominated groups Donley Dance Project, who performed "Settling" Out from Southern Voices: Dance Out Loud 5, and Donna Crump's Good Dance Since 1984, whose excerpt from Isis & Nephthys closed out the event. Chamber music ensemble Musaica performed Zoltan Kodaly's "Serenade, Opus 12, 1st Movement." Dan Shore presented a selection from his new opera Freedom Ride, set in 1961 New Orleans during the civil rights movement, sung by soprano Dara Rahming. OperaCreole presented scenes from Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's opera Thelma.

Tribute to the Classical Arts is sponsored by Gambit, Adler's, Hall Piano, Uptown Costume & Dancewear, WWNO 89.9 FM, John and Anne Burr and the Hotel Monteleone. Proceeds from the event benefit the Foundation for Entertainment Development and Education, which support sarts education through annual grants.


Lifetime Achievement Award
Albinas Prizgintas

Arts Patron Award
Dr. Richard and Ann Cox Strub

Arts Education Award



Best Classical Music Performance

Mahler: Symphony No. 5
Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO)
• Carlos Miguel Prieto, Conductor
• Stefan Jackiw, violin
• First Baptist Church, Covington

Best Performance of New Classical Music

Nocturne for String Quartet
An Afternoon of Chamber Music
• Members of the LPO
• Scott Slapin, Composer
• Trinity Episcopal Church

Best Opera Production

• New Orleans Opera Association
• Katrin Hilbe, Director
• Robert Lyall, Conductor
• Mahalia Jackson Theater

Best Community Opera Production

La Juive
• For the Jewish holiday of Selichot
• Cantor Joel Coleman, Director
• Temple Sinai

Best Chamber Music Performance

Jewels of the Baroque
• Lyrica Baroque
• Louis J. Roussel Performance Hall

Best Choral Arts Presentation

Handel: The Ways of Zion Do Mourn & Vivaldi: Gloria
• Symphony Chorus of New Orleans
• Holy Name of Jesus Church

Outstanding Classical Ballet Presentation

Mystical Celebrations
• NOCCA Dance Department
• Nikoloz Makhateli, Choreographer
• Freda Lupin Memorial Hall

Outstanding Modern Dance Presentation

"Women Who Can't Talk"
Southern Voices: Dance Out Loud 5
• D'Project
• Eddy Villalta, Choreographer
• Contemporary Arts Center

Outstanding Contemporary Dance Presentation

"Tears of an Angel"
Mystical Celebrations
• NOCCA Dance Department
• Blake Coheley, Choreographer
• Freda Lupin Memorial Hall

Outstanding Ethnic Dance Presentation

Mystical Celebrations
• NOCCA Dance Department
• Chard Gonzales, Choreographer
• Freda Lupin Memorial Hall

Outstanding Choreography (New Work)

Donna Crump
Isis & Nephthys
• Good Dance Since 1984
• Marigny Opera House


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