Iconic Jazz Pianist and Composer Herbie Hancock to Receive George Peabody Medal and Speak at Peabody Conservatory's 2022 Graduation Ceremony
Herbie Hancock – celebrated jazz and crossover artist, 14-time Grammy-winner, and advocate for using culture and the arts to advance peace – will receive the George Peabody Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Music in America and address graduates during the Peabody Conservatory’s 2022 Graduation ceremony on Wednesday, May 25. The George Peabody Medal is the highest honor bestowed by the Peabody Institute and has been presented annually since 1980.
“It is a true honor to present this award to Herbie Hancock, a genuine icon of contemporary American music,” noted Peabody Dean Fred Bronstein. “His prolific artistic output as solo performer, recording artist, and bandleader is remarkable, and its impact is magnified by his lifelong commitment to fostering connection among communities and understanding across cultures with his art.”
In his sixth decade of musical innovations, Herbie Hancock remains at the forefront of world culture, technology, business, and music. As a member of the Miles Davis Quintet, he helped pioneer a groundbreaking sound in jazz, followed in the 1970s with albums including Headhunters, which combined electric jazz with funk and rock; exploring acoustics with V.S.O.P. and electronic dance sounds with his bestselling album Future Shock. Hancock received an Academy Award for his Round Midnight film score and has garnered 14 Grammys, including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and Album of the Year for River: The Joni Letters. He is Institute Chairman of the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz, and the Creative Chair for Jazz for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association. Hancock is also a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and Kennedy Center Honoree. His memoirs, Herbie Hancock: Possibilities, were published in 2014.
Previous George Peabody Medal winners have included Renée Fleming, Tori Amos, Leon Fleisher, Yo-Yo Ma, Jessye Norman, Roy Haynes, Quincy Jones, Wynton Marsalis, Marilyn Horne, André Watts, and Ella Fitzgerald.
This year marks the Peabody Conservatory's 140th Graduation exercises, at which 91 Bachelor of Music degrees, 10 Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees, 108 Master of Music degrees, six Master of Arts degrees, 15 Graduate Performance Diplomas, and 15 Doctor of Musical Arts degrees are scheduled to be conferred.
The undergraduate ceremony begins at 10:00 am on Wednesday, May 25, and a second ceremony for graduate degrees follows at 2:00 pm. Both ceremonies will take place in Miriam A. Friedberg Concert Hall on the Peabody Institute’s Baltimore campus and will be livestreamed. Additional details are available at www.peabody.jhu.edu/graduation.
About the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University
The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University comprises both the degree-granting Peabody Conservatory and the community-facing Peabody Preparatory, empowering musicians and dancers from diverse backgrounds to create and perform at the highest level. Building on its rich history as America’s first conservatory, Peabody extends the power of the performing arts and robust artistic training throughout the greater Baltimore community and around the world, staging more than 1,000 concerts and events each year both on- and off-campus. Focused on the five pillars of excellence, interdisciplinary experiences, innovation, community connectivity, and diversity, Peabody has introduced the Breakthrough Curriculum into its rigorous core professional training to prepare flexible and innovative artists for 21st-century careers. As part of one of the world’s great research universities and medical institutions, Peabody is also taking a leading role in the field of performing arts medicine, advancing important initiatives in both arts-in-healthcare and clinical care for performing artists.