French Government Honors Anne Azéma


Anne Azéma, Artistic Director of The Boston Camerata, has been promoted to the rank of Officier (Officer) of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government, it was learned a few days ago via a communication to Ms. Azéma from the French Minister of Culture.

The “Arts et Lettres” decoration is awarded each year to a handful of artists and creators, both French and non-French, in recognition of their work. It is one of the principal distinctions of the French Republic.

As a singer, Anne Azéma has been widely acclaimed for her interpretations of early French music. She as also distinguished herself as a music director, stage director, scholar and researcher, leading her own musical teams on a series of original programs (concerts and recordings) of medieval music. A longtime soloist with the Boston Camerata, she assumed the directorship of that eminent early music group in 2008.

The French-born Ms. Azéma has lived in the Boston area for many years. She has been an American citizen since 2004. Anne Azéma is a faculty member, specializing in Historical Performance and Voice, at the Longy School of Music of Bard College. She is a co-recipient, among other rewards, of the Grand Prix du Disque, the Edison Prize, and was first welcomed into the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, as a Chevalier, in 2014.

“We have always been enormously proud of Anne and her work,” commented Gerald Flanagan, President of the Boston Camerata board. “This wonderful decoration further confirms the contribution she makes to our community, and to the world.”

Plans for an awards ceremony have not yet been confirmed.

The Boston Camerata, founded in 1954, produces an in-town concert series for the Boston area and tours regularly in the US and all over the world. The ensemble performs European music of the Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque eras, and early American music, sacred and secular. Ms. Azéma has maintained a vigorous online and recording presence for Camerata during the current, challenging pandemic period, returning the ensemble as well to live performance in late 2021.

Over 30 CD’s and videos have, over the years, been released under The Boston Camerata’s name, most recently (October, 2021) Hodie Christus Natus Est, a widely praised program of medieval Christmas carols under Ms. Azéma’s direction.

Among the list of previous recipients of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres – Officiers, we find the actors Faye Dunaway, Jeanne Moreau, Marion Cotillard; and the musicians Elton John, John Adams, Frederica von Stade.

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