In a fine display of good sense and exemplary taste, Queen Elizabeth II has named pianist Marian McPartland an “Officer of the Order of the British Empire.” As British honors go, the only one higher is being named a “Dame.”
“I am thrilled and proud to have received this great honor bestowed on me by Queen Elizabeth,” said McPartland, who received the citation for services to jazz and for aspiring young musicians in the United States. “I am truly grateful.”
Sir Alan Collins, British Consul-General in New York, said: “I congratulate Ms. McPartland and Mr. [Peter Dyce] Tear on their well-deserved honors. Their awards are an acknowledgement of the significant contribution each has made to the arts and for their roles in strengthening the UK-US relationship.” Peter Dyce Tear, Executive Producer of 59E59 Theatres in New York, was awarded a Member of the British Empire honor for services to UK/US cultural relations.
Now 91, McPartland continues to showcase the world’s top musicians on NPR’s longest-running and most widely carried jazz program, “Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz,” which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. The long list of honors bestowed upon McPartland and the show include a George Foster Peabody Award, the Gracie Allen Award, the National Music Council’s American Eagle Award and a Grammy Trustee’s Award for lifetime achievement. After nearly 28 years as host of “Piano Jazz,” in 2007, Marian was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame. She has received honorary degrees from Hamilton, Union, and Bates colleges, Bowling Green University and the University of South Carolina.
For more information on NPR’s “Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz,” go to http://www.npr.org/templates/rundow/rundown.php?prgId=24