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Wednesday, 24 October, 2001, 12:49 GMT 13:49 UK
'Genius awards' handed out
Stephen Hough
Hough: Divides time between New York and London
A UK-born pianist is among the 23 recipients of this year's $11.5m (Ģ8.06m) worth of awards from the US MacArthur Foundation.

The awards have been dubbed "genius grants" because of the talents of the recipients.

Cheshire-born Hough, a 39-year-old concert pianist, will get $500,000 (Ģ350,842) over five years.

Other winners in the arts are novelist Andrea Barrett, biographer Jean Strouse and playwright Suzan Lori Parks.

Andrea Barrett
Barrett: Author of The Voyage of the Narwhal
"These are people who provide the imagination and fresh ideas that can improve people's lives and bring about movement on important issues," said Foundation president Jonathan Fanton.

Each winner, all of whom were nominated anonymously, will get the prize in a "no strings attached" arrangement.

The foundation does not ask or expect specific projects and nor does it ask for reports on how the money was spent.

Hough has already won awards for his numerous recordings, including Gramaphone and Classic CD awards.

Suzan-Lori Parks
Parks: Plays exploring the African-American experience
He is best-known for his award-winning 1998 release, New York Variations, featured the first recordings of John Corigliano's Etude Fantasy and George Tsontakis's Ghost Variations.

Barrett, 46, is a teacher at Warren Wilson College, North Carolina as well as the author of Ship Fever and The Voyage of the Narwhal.

Originally a biologist, she incorporates meticulously researched material on the history of scientific discovery into her fiction.

Sea Fever won the US National Book Award for Fiction in 1996.

Strouse, 56, is known for her biography of JP Morgan and Alice James, the sister of author Henry James.

David Hickey
Art historian and critic Hickey gets an award
A New Yorker, she has already received the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Bancroft Prize in American History and Diplomacy and a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is a private, independent institution created by John Donald MacArthur in 1978.

MacArthur was one of the three wealthiest men in the US at the time of his death and was sole owner of America's largest privately held insurance company.

Other winners in the arts are art historian David Hickey, artist Iņigo Manglano-Ovalle, playwright Suzan Lori-Parks and composer Bright Seng.

See also:

12 Jun 01 | Arts
Cash boost for the arts
09 Jul 98 | Education
More money for arts study
23 Oct 01 | Arts
Regional museums 'in crisis'
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