James Conlon Receives Austrian Honor

By Francisco Salazar

American conductor James Conlon has been awarded Austria’s Cross of Honor for Science and Art.

The award, created in 1955, is a state decoration from the Republic of Austria and is part of the Austrian national honors system. The award honors both Austrians and non-Austrians who have “distinguished themselves and earned general acclaim through especially superior creative and commendable services in the areas of the sciences or the arts.”

Conlon received the decoration during a ceremony on Oct. 6, 2023 in the presence of the Austrian Ambassador to the United States, Ddr. Petra Schneebauer, and the Austrian Consul General of Los Angeles, Dr. Michael Postl, from Prof. Martin Polaschek, Austria’s Minister for Education, Science, and Research

Conlon is one of the most acclaimed conductors of his generation who has received distinctions such as the Légion d’Honneur and the Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France as well as the the Commendatore Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana in Italy. He also received the Crystal Globe Award from the Anti-Defamation League and the Roger E. Joseph Prize at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Conlon has conducted virtually every major symphony orchestra in Europe, the United States, and Canada, and at many of the world’s great opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, Wiener Staatsoper and The Salzburg Festival.