Dr. Kenneth Slowik, curator of musical instruments and artistic director of the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society, will deliver the 2011 Secretary’s Distinguished Research Lecture, Friday, Jan. 13 in the American History Museum’s Hall of Musical Instruments at 2 p.m. The presentation will conclude with a live excerpt from Mendelssohn’s Op. 20 Octet, performed on eight of the Smithsonian’s rare Stradivarius and Amati instruments by the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society’s resident Axelrod Quartet and the Old City String Quartet, the award-winning graduate fellowship quartet at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. Refreshments will follow the lecture, which will also be webcast at http://prism.si.edu/os/live.htm.
Ken came to the Smithsonian as a founding member of the Smithsonian Chamber Players in 1976 and was named Artistic Director of the Chamber Music Society in 1984. Throughout his career, Ken has performed on many of the instruments from the Smithsonian’s world-class collection. The list of his achievements begins with more than 1,000 concerts presented in 14 countries. His lectures, writings and editorial work rank him with top academic scholars of music. Ken’s discography is voluminous and his awards are many—including Italy’s Premio del Disco Antonio Vivaldi in 1991, the French Diapason d’Or in 1993 and a Grammy nomination as conductor for his recording of the Schönberg/Riehn arrangement of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde in 2007.
The 11th recipient of the Distinguished Research Award, Ken was selected from finalists recommended by a committee representing research areas across the spectrum of Smithsonian scholarship. This year’s committee members included previous award recipients David DeVorkin (Air and Space), Adrienne Kaeppler (Natural History), Giovanni Fazio (Astrophysical Observatory), William Fitzhugh (chair, Natural History), Douglas Herman (American Indian), Cynthia Mills (Portrait Gallery), Katherine Ott (American History), Mary Jane West-Eberhard (Tropical Research Institute) and Dennis Whigham (Environmental Research Center).
Posted: 11 January 2012