|Brad Mehldau receiving the Wigmore Medal from John Gilhooly
Photo credit: Simon Jay Price
Mary James writes:
At Wigmore Hall on Friday 18th December 2015, John Gilhooly, Director of the Hall, awarded the Wigmore Medal to Brad Mehldau. This award was inaugurated in 2007, and recognises significant figures in the international music world who have a strong association with the Hall. Previous recipients include Matthias Goerne (2007), András Schiff (2009), Dame Felicity Lott (2010), Thomas Quasthoff (2011) and Menahem Pressler (2012), Graham Johnson (2013) and the Takács Quartet (2014).
In the medal citation, John Gilhooly said “Brad Mehldau has forged a unique path which embodies the essence of jazz exploration. He made his debut at Wigmore Hall in 2004, and in 2009 became the first artist to curate Wigmore Hall’s Jazz Series. Brad Mehldau is the first-ever jazz musician to receive the Wigmore Medal.”
Gilhooly also said “In a troubled world. we honour those who make us smile, and feel happy.” Following the presentation, Mehldau took two encores, Paul McCartney’s And I Love Her, (curiously pre-figured in this review – he hadn’t played it the previous night) and Greensleeves. Earlier in his rapturously received solo set, he played a mixture of old and new standards including When I Fall In Love, Brian Wilson’s ‘Til I Die, Fool On The Hill and one original.