Martin Scorsese, Steve Martin, Diana Ross, Brian Wilson and pianist Leon Fleisher have been selected to receive this year’s Kennedy Center Honors.
Thirtieth anni edition of the event will be presented Dec. 2 at a gala celebration produced by George Stevens Jr. and broadcast Dec. 26 on CBS. With its unique mixture of political and artistic celebs, including participation by the U.S. president and first lady, it is a social highlight in D.C. and a hugely successful fund-raiser for the Kennedy Center.
Quintet will be saluted by entertainers and other colleagues from the performing arts. The weekend affair also includes a State Dept. dinner for the recipients, hosted by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and a White House reception.
Kennedy Center chairman Stephen A. Schwarzman praised Fleisher as a “consummate musician whose career is a moving testament to the life-affirming power of art.” He cited Ross for spreading joy with her instantly recognizable voice and Beach Boy Wilson for his “era-defining transformation of the sound of music.” He called Martin a “Renaissance comic whose talents wipe out the boundaries between artistic disciplines” and Scorsese a “visionary filmmaker and a fearless artist.”