For lifetime achievement in the field of early music


This award is named in memory of the renowned and beloved musicologist from the University of Chicago, Howard Mayer Brown.

Brown’s scholarship covered a wide range of subjects. He published on the music of the Renaissance, especially the chanson and instrumental music, and frequently returned to problems in historical performance practice, a subfield in which he was one of the most important commentators.

2021 Recipients: Joan Kimball and Robert Wiemken

Joan Kimball and Robert Wiemken, founders and co-artistic directors of Piffaro, The Renaissance Band, will receive the Howard Mayer Brown Award for lifetime achievement in the field of early music. The award is named in memory of the renowned and beloved University of Chicago musicologist Howard Mayer Brown (1930-93), whose scholarship covered a wide range of subjects on the music of the Renaissance, especially the chanson and instrumental music, and frequently returned to problems in historical performance practice, a subfield in which he was one of the most important commentators.

“What an honor to receive the Howard Mayer Brown Award, following in the footsteps of so many distinguished early music colleagues who have received it in the past,” said Kimball. “Bob and I couldn’t be more grateful to EMA and to all who nominated us, and we hope that what we have built with Piffaro over 40 years can be a model for others who wish to pursue this crazy and wonderful path!”

Wiemken said it’s “a very special honor for our work to be recognized in this way and very gratifying to know that the work and the music has been appreciated these many years. I’ve been privileged to have been able to work with so many wonderful and talented people over those years, especially my fellow members of Piffaro, who deserve so much credit for the success of the ensemble.”

Piffaro colleagues are effusive in their praise of Kimball and Wiemken. Singer, multi-instrumentalist, and teacher Grant Herreid, recipient of EMA’s 2013 Laurette Goldberg Award, said the Piffaro co-directors “have brought the beauty and appreciation of Renaissance music to audiences throughout the U.S. and abroad. And through countless workshops and other outreach, they have been as influential in fostering early wind playing among students and amateurs as anyone in the world. Their inspired programing and Piffaro’s many top-quality recordings have influenced Renaissance practitioners around the world.”

Read the full press release.

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