MOLA Awards James Conlon With Eroica Award for Outstanding Service to Music

By David Salazar

Conductor James Conlon has been named the winner of the Eroica Award for Outstanding Service to Music.

The accolade was bestowed on the famed conductor by MOLA: An Association of Music performance Librarians which is comprised of more than 585 members across 248 orchestras, 36 opera and ballet ccompanies, eight professional bands and ensembles, and 33 music academies.

Per an official press release issued by the organization, “the criteria for the Eroica Award for Outstanding Service to Music is to recognize an individual (or group of individuals) who inspires MOLA with their advocacy for the art form, artistic excellence, and/or leadership. MOLA encourages nominations for those who champion underrepresented works or composers, mentor young musicians, bridge communities, or break new ground. Whether a performer, scholar or editor, the recipient can represent any facet of the music world.”

Conlon has been a regular contributor to the LA Opera’s website in the form of essays and podcasts while also developing an annual community program. He has also lectured at schools and events on a regular basis and has programmed concerts and recordings for local college students. Another major contribution of Conlon’s has been his focus on underrepresented composers and overlooked repertory.

“For the past 50 years, James Conlon has epitomized remarkable leadership on and off the podium,” said Alastair McKean, President of MOLA, in an official press release. “While his mastery as a musician and conductor remains unparalleled, it is his dedication to programming underrepresented composers, diligent education initiatives, and ambitions to unite diverse communities in the appreciation of opera and classical music that truly sets him apart. It is with great admiration for these contributions and unwavering leadership that MOLA is proud to present Maestro Conlon with our 2024 Eroica Award for Outstanding Service to Music.”

“Receiving this honor means more to me than you can possibly imagine,” Conlon said follow the receipt of his award. “As a conductor with 50 years of professional life behind me, I have had the privilege of collaborating with many of you in the United States, in Canada, and in Europe. I know how essential and important your work is, and I am honored to be able to thank all of you.

“To all of the members of MOLA, you are known worldwide as an association of music performance librarians. But for me, MOLA is not just an association, but the association, the largest and most prominent in the classical music world.”

Conlon is the third recipient of the award following conductor JoAnna Falletta and violinist Jennifer Koh.