Martha Agerich, Al Pacino, Eagles and more receive Kennedy Center Honors

05 December 2016
Screen-Shot-2016-12-05-at-07.25.21-47125.png Argerich
America Celebrated Honorees’ Lifetime Artistic Achievements yesterday Sunday, Dec 4



America Celebrated Honorees’ Lifetime Artistic Achievements yesterday Sunday, December 4, 2016


Earlier in the year, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced the selection of five Honorees who were to receive the 2016 Kennedy Center Honors. These recipients were: Argentine pianist Martha Argerich, rock band the Eagles, screen and stage actor Al Pacino, gospel and blues singer Mavis Staples, and musician James Taylor.

On Sunday 4 December, in a star-studded celebration on the Kennedy Center Opera House stage, produced by Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss of White Cherry Entertainment, the 2016 Honorees were saluted by today’s leading performers from New York, Hollywood, and the arts capitals of the world. Seated with the President of the United States and Mrs Obama, the Honorees accepted the recognition and gratitude of their peers through performances and tributes.

The annual Honors Gala has become the highlight of the Washington cultural and society calendar, and its broadcast on CBS is a high point of the television season.

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Argerich is pictured here flanked by her three daughters. 

When receiving the award, she said, ‘I am deeply humbled and amazed to be one of the Kennedy Center Honorees. When I was 11-years-old in Argentina, my mother Juanita dreamed for me to study in the United States; instead we went to Europe where I started my career and where I have been living ever since. My late mother would be very proud today, and I would like to share this wonderful tribute with her.’ 

‘The Kennedy Center Honors celebrates the spectacular talents of artists whose brilliance has left a lasting impact on our society,’ stated Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein. ‘These Honorees represent what is possible when creativity is not just cultivated, but unleashed. Martha Argerich’s distinguished performances have spanned the globe and over the last six decades have earned her world recognition as one of the greatest pianists of the 20th and 21st centuries; the Eagles’s ambitiously themed albums epically merged the American West and rock n’ roll, paving the way for unconventional music makers and artists to come; Al Pacino has embodied some of the most powerful characters of our time on both the stage and silver screen; Mavis Staples’s unmatched gospel and rhythm and blues masterpieces span 60 years and even served as a musical backdrop to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s campaign for Civil Rights; and James Taylor’s warm baritone and poetic lyrics embody the art of songwriting, making him one of the defining musical figures of our time and his music the soundtrack of our country.’

‘Reflecting on the powerful commitments these artists have made to their crafts as well as the cultural contributions they have made over the course of their illustrious careers is a humbling experience,’ commented Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter. ‘These Honorees have each played a unique role in shaping America’s artistic landscape with their work, expressing their creativity in ways that pushed the boundaries of what art can do, and what it can mean. Their artistic triumphs have motivated us, moved us, and will continue to inspire us for generations to come.’

The Honors Gala was recorded for broadcast on the CBS Network for the 39th consecutive year as a two-hour primetime special on December 27 at 9:00 p.m. ET.