For the 34th annual Kennedy Center Honors, Oscar-winning actress Meryl Streep and cellist Yo-Yo Ma are among the recipients selected for the prestigious honors, for their cultural contributions it was announced on September 7. Music dominates this year’s selections with Grammy-winning artists including jazz tenor saxophonist and composer Sonny Rollins, pop hit singer-songwriter Neil Diamond and Broadway’s lyric soprano Barbara Cook.
The cultural contributions of these five artists will be celebrated with testimonials from colleagues at the Kennedy Center Opera House event in Washington DC, to be televised December 27 on CBS-TV.
Classical virtuoso Yo-Yo Ma, a French-born American of Chinese descent, brings his Silk Road Ensemble together, performing with an array of renowned musicians from around the world. Oscar-winning Streep, nominated a record 16 times, has won for Sophie’s Choice. Her range of work includes the romantic comedy The Devil Wears Prada, the musical Mamma Mia! and upcoming The Iron Lady portraying UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
The honorees will sit with US President Barack Obama and the First Lady during the proceedings and performances. The Kennedy Center has previously honored Oprah Winfrey, Sir Paul McCartney, Robert De Niro, and Steven Spielberg.