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Arts & Entertainment

CFA honors four alumni and a professor who have made their mark

Award recipients include Met Opera stage director, Oscar-winning set designer

Opera isn’t just an exhibition of vocal talent, according to David Kneuss, the executive stage director of the Metropolitan Opera. Indeed, he told College of Fine Arts students, opera is theater, especially today.

Kneuss (CFA’70) held a workshop at the CFA Opera Institute on December 2, hours before he and three other graduates, including Oscar-winning production designer Rick Heinrichs (CFA’76), received alumni awards from the college.

Kneuss told the students at the workshop that they should strive to perfect more than just their singing if they want to succeed in opera. “You really have to be able to do it all,” he said. “Learn how to dance. Learn how to walk. Learn how to talk. Take some acting classes,” because opera and theater “are the same thing on so many levels.”

Also presenting a workshop that day was award recipient Fred Bronstein (CFA’78), president and CEO of the Dallas Symphony Association. He spoke on what it takes to make artistic institutions prosperous and relevant.

The following received CFA awards in a ceremony at the Student Village Atrium at 10 Buick St.:

School of Music Distinguished Alumni Award: music educator Sandra Nicolucci (CFA’68,’69,’77). Nicolucci has three decades of music teaching and administrative experience in public schools and colleges. A composer of music for children and an educational consultant, she is also a frequent presenter at professional conferences.

School of Music Distinguished Alumni Award: David Kneuss (CFA’70), executive stage director of the Metropolitan Opera. Kneuss has directed productions for many of the world’s leading opera venues — in Italy, Germany, Japan, China, and the United States, including in San Francisco, Washington, Atlanta, Boston, and New York. He has served as the Met’s stage director for the past 15 years.

School of Visual Arts Distinguished Alumni Award: production designer Rick Heinrichs (CFA’76). Heinrichs won an Academy Award for his work on Tim Burton’s 1999 movie Sleepy Hollow. He has designed monumental sets for Jerry Brookheimer’s production of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, which will be released next year. Heinrichs, who is in the Bahamas for the filming of Pirates of the Caribbean III, received his alumni award in absentia.

Distinguished Service to the Profession Alumni Award: Fred Bronstein (CFA’78), president and CEO of the Dallas Symphony Association. Before coming to the Dallas Symphony Association in July 2002, Bronstein had been president and CEO of the Omaha Symphony since November 1998. From 1996 to 1998 he served as the executive director of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.

Distinguished Faculty Award: Theodore Antoniou, CFA professor of music, composition, and theory. A composer and conductor, Antoniou won BU’s Metcalf Cup and Prize for Excellence in Teaching in 1991. As a conductor, he has been engaged by several major orchestras and ensembles, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players and the Radio Orchestras of Berlin and Paris. He is the director of ALEA III, BU’s new music ensemble.