Today, Musical America, the country’s oldest classical music magazine, named Audra its 2014 Musician of the Year, placing her in the illustrious company of past honorees including Leonard Bernstein, Leotyne Price, Michael Tilson Thomas, Beverly Sills, Itzhak Perlman, Wynton Marsalis, and Yo-Yo Ma. She joins fellow Musical America Award honorees composer George Benjamin, pianist Jeremy Denk, the International Contemporary Ensemble, and conductor Pablo Heras-Casado. The Musical America Awards recognize artistic excellence and achievement.
“Audra McDonald is unparalleled in the breadth and versatility of her artistry as both singer and actress,” writes Musical America in today’s announcement. “She is fearless, vocally and physically. Her immediately recognizable soprano is rich, flexible, and incandescent, with a huge dynamic range, equally persuasive as silk or gravel, belt or whisper. It’s also genre-bending, since she can sing across the spectrum, from opera to blues, pop to gospel. She is what Barbara Cook calls ‘the whole package.'” Ranking among classical music’s highest honors, the awards will be presented by the venerable arts resource at its annual ceremony at Lincoln Center on December 17.