Musical theater composer and producer Andrew Lloyd Webber
; conductor Zubin Mehta
; country singer and songwriter Dolly Parton
; singer, songwriter and producer Smokey Robinson
; and film director and producer Steven Spielberg
will receive honors for the year 2006, at “The 29th Annual Kennedy Center Honors” to be presented on Sunday, Dec. 3 and broadcast on CBS later that month.
The 2006 Honorees will be saluted by stars from the world of the performing arts at a gala performance in the Kennedy Center's Opera House, which will be attended by President
and Mrs. Bush
and by artists from around the world.
The President and the First Lady will receive the Honorees, and members of the Artists Committee who nominate them, along with the Kennedy Center Board of Trustees at the White House prior to the gala performance. The 2006 Kennedy Center Honors Gala concludes with a dinner dance in the Grand Foyer. The Kennedy Center Honors will be bestowed the night before the gala on Saturday, December 2, at a State Department dinner hosted by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
"This year we honor five extraordinary international artists whose abundant contributions to their fields are remarkable. They have transformed the culture of our country and of the world," said Kennedy Center Chairman Stephen A. Schwarzman. "Andrew Lloyd Webber has led a seismic change in our musical theater, becoming the most popular theater composer in the world; conductor Zubin Mehta's profound artistry and devotion to music make him a world treasure; Dolly Parton's creativity and spirit make her country music's best international ambassador; Smokey Robinson's song and voice have created the soundtrack for the lives of a generation of Americans; and Steven Spielberg's films make him one of the most successful and accomplished directors of all time."
The Honors recipients are selected each year by the Board of Trustees of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The recipients are recognized for their lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts in dance, music, theater, opera, motion pictures and television. The primary criterion in the selection process is excellence. The Honors are not designated by art form or category of artistic achievement. Over the years, the selection process has produced a balance among the various arts and artistic disciplines.