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Washington Operatic Arts Honors 2021 Ambassador of the Arts Award

Delayed by the pandemic, the ceremony celebrated operatic bass Soloman Howard


Operatic bass and social justice advocate Solomon Howard has recently been honored with the Arts Ambassador of the Year award for 2021, presented by Washington Operatic Arts. Howard was finally able to receive his honor at an in-person ceremony, which was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic at the time the award was made.

The award has been running since 2013 and recognizes extraordinary achievement, service, and advocacy in the performing arts. Howard's wife Ailyn Pérez performed at the ceremony, alongside tenor Walter Pierce Pearson IV, a member of our Children of the Gospel Choir, and pianist Dr. Lester Green.

Howard has sung leading roles in the Washington National Opera's productions of Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Don Giovanni, Wagner’s Ring Cycle, and Philip Glass’s Appomattox, for which he received widespread critical acclaim. Howard has also appeared in high-profile performances at The Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, and English National Opera, as well as with leading symphonic ensembles such as the National Symphony Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

"It is with great pleasure that we finally honor Soloman Howard with our Ambassador of the Arts Award," said Washington Performing Arts President and CEO Jenny Bilfield. "Soloman has been such an exemplary artist, friend, and inspiration to all of us—especially those who have followed his path from his earliest days as a member of our Children of the Gospel Choir."

"What an honor it is to be named Washington Performing Arts’s 2021 Ambassador of the Arts," Howard said. "Washington Performing Arts is special to me for several reasons: it’s the organization that gave me the platform that I needed to thrive; I learned and grew from my experiences there; it kept me in an environment that was safe for me to express my diversity as an artist; and it put me on big stages for major moments in history across the world. Those reasons make Washington Performing Arts a part of my heart and legacy — forever."

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