Toronto percussionist Russell Hartenberger is the recipient of the 2017 Leonardo Da Vinci World Award of Arts, awarded by the World Cultural Council.
In a statement released by the Mexican non-profit organization, Hartenberger received the Award “for his achievements as a scholarly writer, as well as an extraordinarily talented percussionist, and for his commitment to teaching and inspiring new generations of young musicians and scholars.”
Hartenberger is Professor Emeritus of Ethnomusicology and Percussion at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music, where he also served previously as Dean. He maintains an active performance schedule with the NEXUS Percussion Ensemble, and is also a member of the Steve Reich Ensemble.
Along the path to obtaining his PhD in World Music, Hartenberger studied an eclectic range of instruments: from South Indian mridangam, to tabla, to Javanese gamelan, to West African drums. He is especially known today as a collaborative percussionist, working in minimalism, world music, and improvisation; off-stage, he has authored many texts which contextualise such genres.