Guild Hall of East Hampton, the premier cultural institution of its kind in the area, has announced the honorees for its 20th Annual Lifetime Achievement Awards Gala to be held on Monday, March 14, 2005 at the Rainbow Room, New York City. The distinguished honorees for the year 2004, selected by the 200 member Guild Hall Academy of the Arts, are composer/lyricist Sheldon Harnick for Performing Arts, novelist Louis Begley for Literary Arts, photographer/artist Cindy Sherman for Visual Arts and real estate developer and philanthropist Marshall Rose for Lifelong Patron of the Arts.
The gala will not only pay tribute to this year's honorees but also to the over 60 artists who have been singled out over the past 19 years for sustained excellence in their field -- a veritable who's who in Arts and Letters. Members of an extraordinary collective of talent on the East End, previous award recipients include such luminaries as Robert A. M. Stern, Chuck Close, Steven Spielberg, George Plimpton, Edward Albee, Lauren Bacall, Itzhak Perlman, Jerome Robbins, Sidney Lumet, Cy Coleman, Betty Friedan, Larry Rivers, Jane Freilicher, Kurt Vonnegut and Terrence McNally.
Currently represented on Broadway with the critically acclaimed revival of the award winning Fiddler On The Roof, now starring Harvey Fierstein, Sheldon Harnick continues, after five decades, to be a vital force in the worlds of theater, opera, television and film. The Chicago native first came to New York in 1950, following his dream to be a theatrical songwriter. Within two years, he came to Broadway's attention with his first song "The Boston Beguine" for New Faces of 1952. For the next few years, he contributed songs to a number of on and off-Broadway revues including John Murray Anderson's Almanac, which launched the career of a then unknown Harry Belafonte.
In 1956, he teamed up with Jerry Bock for a collaboration that would make Broadway history. Their musical Fiorello, based on New York's most colorful mayor Fiorello La Guardia (the Little Flower), garnered the duo a Tony Award, New York Drama Critic's Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize. The following year, Harnick and Bock brought to Broadway the critically acclaimed Tenderloin. In 1963, She Loves Me delighted Broadway theatergoers and won them a Grammy Award. International acclaim came the next year with their groundbreaking Fiddler on the Roof, which swept all the awards in 1964, a Broadway success story once again - 40 years later! Harnick and Bock continued their Broadway success, with The Rothschilds. Another successful collaboration for Harnick, this time with the legendary Richard Rogers, resulted in the critically acclaimed Rex.