Society of Peabody Alumni
Citation for the Peabody Distinguished Alumni Award
June 4, 2011
Murry Sidlin, credited with having one of the most diverse musical careers in America today, you are a critically acclaimed conductor and humanitarian of world renown.
After graduating from Peabody, you were an Assistant Conductor at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and a Resident at the National Symphony and Oregon Symphony Orchestras. You served as Music Director for the New Haven and Long Beach Symphonies, Tulsa Philharmonic and Connecticut Ballet. You have guest conducted extensively throughout North America, Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East. You were the first to conduct in the Kennedy Center after its grand re-opening in 2003, and 2010 marked your 17th anniversary conducting the National Symphony’s New Year’s Eve gala on that same stage.
Your humanitarian efforts champion the prisoners of the Terezin Concentration Camp in World War II. Since its premiere in 2002, your Defiant Requiem-which tells the tale of Terezin’s captives who continually performed Verdi’s Requiem while imprisoned-has been performed fifteen times, three of which were on the grounds at Terezin. You founded the Defiant Requiem Foundation to promote performances of the work, support a summer institute, and produce a film on the Terezin prisoners. In founding the Rafael Schachter Institute of the Arts and Humanities, you installed lasting measures to preserve the Terezin prisoners’ commitment to arts and humanities while they were held captive.
As a composer, you developed a series of new concert dramas called “Illuminations.” The repertoire contains over twenty five works that you yourself arranged, scripted, designed, narrated and conducted. Other arrangements include Aaron Copland’s “The TenderLand,” which you re-orchestrated at the composer’s request. Prior to your arrangement for chamber ensemble, the opera had only twelve productions, and over three-hundred fifty after you completed and recorded your arrangement.
As an educator, you were Dean of the Music School at Catholic University for nearly a decade, and have spent over thirty-two years on the Aspen Music Festival faculty.
A sought after lecturer and arts philosopher, you were appointed by Presidents Ford and Carter to serve on the White House commission of Presidential Scholars, and you have spoken at several American Symphony Orchestra League conferences. In 1997, you were voted National Educator of the Year by the National Association of Independent Schools of Music.
Murry Sidlin, you have exemplified the Johns Hopkins tradition of excellence and brought credit to the Peabody Conservatory and University throughout your career. It is for all this that The Johns Hopkins University Alumni Association confers upon you the honor of the Distinguished Alumni Award.