2024 Gilmore Artist to be Named and Perform This Week
September 11, 2023
Arguably the biggest prize and honor in the piano world, the Gilmore Artist Award spotlights one superior pianist nominated and juried anonymously with a career-making $300,000 prize. An anonymous committee travels the globe to listen to artists nominated by music professionals around the world every four years.
On Sunday, September 17, The Gilmore will welcome to Kalamazoo the first artist named since 2018. The artist will play their first Gilmore performance at 2 pm, to be followed by a conversation hosted by Brian McCreath, Director of Production for GBH Music in Boston. The event will be livestreamed at no charge.
Gilmore Executive and Artistic Director Pierre van der Westhuizen has been looking forward to this milestone since he joined the organization.
“It has been a career highlight for me to be part of the multi-year process that led to the discovery of our 2024 Gilmore Artist,” he says. “I am grateful to the distinguished community of nominators and to the Artistic Advisory Committee who found this piano virtuoso for us.”
“This momentous occasion is one I’ve anticipated since joining The Gilmore in 2018,” says van der Westhuizen. “While world events delayed this day, all that means is we have an exponential level of excitement to be naming the next Gilmore Artist this month.”
There are nine Gilmore Artists named since the program’s inception: Igor Levit (2018, Germany), Rafał Blechacz (2014, Poland), Artist Kirill Gerstein (2010, USA), Ingrid Fliter (2006, Argentina), Piotr Anderszewski (2002, Poland), Leif Ove Andsnes (1998, Norway), Ralf Gothóni (1994, Finland), and David Owen Norris (1991, England). A similarly organized Gilmore Young Artist Awards program has accrued 40 winners, and in 2026, the organization will launch the Larry J. Bell Jazz Artist Awards and Jazz Young Artist awards.
The award program was created by the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation after the passing of its namesake, Irving S. Gilmore (1900-1985) who graduated from Yale University with a music degree (where the music library is named for him) before joining the staff of his family’s department store at the age of 23. The businessman, philanthropist, military veteran, arts patron, and concert-quality pianist found his greatest joy in the arts.