Yehudi Wyner Elected President of American Academy of Arts and Letters

Yehudi Wyner Elected President of American Academy of Arts and Letters
© Michael Lovett
Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Yehudi Wyner has been elected president of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, succeeding the architect Henry N. Cobb, the Academy announced on February 11, 2015.

"Surprise, astonishment, disbelief, and finally delight were my reactions to being elected president of the Academy," said Wyner. "This institution, which I revere, stands as a beacon in our society, embracing high accomplishment in the arts, glorifying works of the imagination and spirit. Membership is an honor, but the primary function of the Academy is to seek out and recognize promising creators and to advance their work with awards and prizes. To be able to serve the Academy is an incomparable gift as well as a sober responsibility."

Wyner has composed over 100 works for orchestra, chamber ensemble, solo performers, theater music, and liturgical services. He has received commissions from Carnegie Hall, the Boston Symphony, BBC Philharmonic, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. He has served on the faculties of Yale, Harvard, Cornell, Brandeis University, and the Tanglewood Music Center. In addition to composing and teaching, Mr. Wyner has performed as a solo pianist and chamber musician, directed two opera companies, and conducted ensemble s in a wide range of repertory.

The American Academy of Arts and Letters was established in 1898 to "foster, assist, and sustain an interest in literature, music, and the fine arts," and is chartered by the US Congress.