Six Receive Alumni Achievement Awards for 2019
Berklee recognized six groundbreaking graduates with its Alumni Achievement Award April 4: Will Calhoun B.M. ’86, Gustavo Celis B.M. ’94, Ramin Djawadi B.M. ’98, Nir Seroussi B.M. ’96, Ebony Williams (B.F.A. ’05, contemporary dance), and Amanda Yesnowitz (B.F.A. ’96, musical theater).
In all, 128 Berklee College of Music and Boston Conservatory at Berklee graduates have received this honor.
Best known for his work in the band Living Colour, drummer Calhoun’s accomplishments run the spectrum from performance to composition to photography to promoting environmental awareness.
Celis has earned two Grammy and six Latin Grammy awards for recording engineering and mixing. His clients and collaborators include Timbaland, Eric Clapton, Rick Rubin, Shakira, and Celine Dion.
Millions can hum composer Djawadi’s title theme to Game of Thrones. Only slightly less famous are his scores for Westworld, Iron Man, A Wrinkle in Time, and Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan.
Seroussi began honing his ear for talent while at Heavy Rotation Records. He later became president of Sony Music U.S. Latin before taking his current role as executive vice president of Interscope Geffen A&M.
Williams has built a boundary-crossing career that spans ballet, funk, and hip-hop, most famously as one of Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies.”
Yesnowitz has been recognized with the Kleban Prize and the Jonathan Larson Award for her witty and touching musical theater lyrics.
The alumni spent the day sharing their experiences with students before the awards dinner at the Lenox Hotel. Conservatory student Bonnie Zwigard performed a composition by Yesnowitz, and the Berklee Game of Thrones Ensemble closed out the evening with a familiar theme song.