Yamaha Music and Wellness Institute Announces 2019 Brian Jemelian Award Call for Applications

Mike Lawson • News • June 6, 2019

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Applications are now being accepted for the 2019 Brian Jemelian Award for outstanding achievement, an annual program that recognizes one individual who, by virtue of their exceptional musical commitment, inspires positive personal and cultural transformation.

The recognition award was established by the Yamaha Music and Wellness Institute (YMWI) in memory of Brian Jemelian, who served as a senior vice president at Yamaha Corporation of America (YCA) and as a member of the board of directors at YMWI until his passing July 7, 2017. The award of up to $6,000 is to be used toward the purchase price of a brand-new Yamaha musical instrument.

Kalil Olsen was named the first recipient of the award in 2017, following his stellar piano performance at the week-long festival, Celebrating the Spectrum held at Michigan State University, where he received a brand new Clavinova CVP-705B digital piano.

The Brian Jemelian Award is open to all individuals who reside in the United States with the exception of YMWI and YCA employees, contractors and family members.

A Nomination Letter is required from a third party directly familiar with the nominee (parents or relatives are not included). The letter must include the nominee’s name, basis (rationale) for the nomination, brief synopsis of the nominee’s background/achievements, description and/or examples of how the nominee has influenced or inspired others through their music and an explanation of why the nominee is exceptional and deserving of the award.

Also required is a Nominee Perspective Letter that includes an explanation of how music has transformed the person’s life and a discussion of how and why the person is committed to inspiring others through music. In the event that the nominee is unable to complete this in a written manner, a recorded explanation or document provided by a parent/relative may be submitted for review.

Applications for the 2019 award will be accepted through October 31. The awards committee, comprised of YMWI board directors will make a final decision on this year’s recipient in early December, with an awards ceremony scheduled to take place by the end of the year.

“This award clearly extends beyond musicality. We are searching for extraordinary individuals who incorporate music into their lives in a manner that expresses their creative spirit, benevolence and spirituality — a clear reflection of Brian’s example as a YMWI leader and visionary,” noted Barry Bittman, MD, YMWI chairman and CEO. “Brian recognized creative musical expression as a healing strategy with immense potential for positive personal transformation. This award in Brian’s memory carries forth his example to inspire the best in others.”

To submit an application, contact YMWI@yamaha.com.

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