2012/13 Rolex Arts Initiative mentors announced

As the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative celebrated the achievements of its 2010/11 program at the NYPL this weekend, we eagerly awaited the announcement of who the next six mentors in dance, film, literature, music, theatre and art would be. And it comes as no surprise that they’re all amazing and highly accomplished, precisely what the program looks for: true masters in their fields.

Dance: Lin Hwai-min (Taiwan)

Ever since he founded the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan in the ’70s, Lin Hwai-min has been hailed as Asia’s premier choreographer and a pioneer of contemporary dance. His choreography blends traditional theatre elements with Western dance techniques, creating an arresting style that prompted The New York Times to declare, “Lin Hwai-min has succeeded brilliantly in fusing dance techniques and theatrical concepts from the East and West.”

Film: Walter Murch (U.S.)

Acclaimed for his work as a sound mixer and editor on films like AMERICAN GRAFFITI, THE CONVERSATION, APOCALYPSE NOW and THE GODFATHER series, Walter Murch literally coined the term ‘sound designer.’ And who better to do so than the man who won an unprecedented double Oscar for both sound mixing and film editing for THE ENGLISH PATIENT?

Literature: Margaret Atwood (Canada)

Margaret Atwood has published more than 50 books translated into over 35 languages in fiction, nonfiction and poetry. In addition to widespread critical acclaim for The Handmaid’s Tale, Cat’s Eye, Oryx and Crake, she won the Booker Prize for The Blind Assassin. She’s at her most “brilliant and inventive” in her most recent novel, The Year of the Flood.

Music: Gilberto Gil (Brazil)

Gilberto Gil is a legendary singer, songwriter and guitarist known for his musical innovation and melodic richness. Blending many styles and an eclectic range of influences, Gil has released 52 albums, five of them platinum and 12 of them gold, and sold more than four million records. Among his numerous honors, he has won ten Grammy Awards.

Theatre: Patrice Chéreau (France)

Primarily known in France as a theatrical powerhouse and actor, Patrice Chéreau began his career at a young age; at fifteen he was considered a theatre prodigy by critics and by twenty-five he had already directed his first opera. Now he’s heralded for his direction of wide-ranging theatre, film and opera productions that delve deeply into human relationships. “Directing these different media is about the same thing – telling stories,” he says.

Visual Arts: William Kentridge (South Africa)

Best known for his animated films based on charcoal drawings, William Kentridge is a remarkably versatile artist who also works in print, books, collage, sculpture and the performing arts. His work combines the political with the poetic, including personal experiences in his native country during and after apartheid. “I am interested in a political art … an art of ambiguity, contradiction, uncompleted gestures and uncertain endings,” says Kentridge whose parents, anti-apartheid lawyers, taught him to question the world around him from an early age.