For release: September 17, 2012
For press information, contact Curt Guenther, 901-678-2843
Joy Brown Wiener
Joy Brown Wiener is this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Achievement Award in
the Creative and Performing Arts, given by the College of Communication and Fine Art
at the University of Memphis. The presentation will take place during the annual
awards luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, at The University Club, 1346 Central
The Distinguished Achievement Award was established in 1979 by the College in memory
of Elvis Presley. With a long and stellar list of honorees, it is given to artists
associated with Memphis and the Mid-South in recognition of their outstanding career
A native Memphian, Joy made her professional debut at age 10 as a soloist accompanied
by an orchestra at the Goodwyn Institute in Memphis. She later performed for two
seasons with the St. Louis Symphony, as the youngest member in that group’s 66-year
After finishing high school, she won a scholarship to study in New York City at Julliard,
Columbia University and the Manhattan School of Music. She graduated from Rhodes
College in Memphis with a degree in history and in 1993 received an honorary doctorate
from her alma mater.
In the 1950s, Joy toured Europe, winning first prize at the Festival of Artists in
Sienna, Italy, for her performance of Brahms’ Violin Concerto, which is still one
of her favorite pieces. Since 1983 she has been a favorite performer on the television
series “Joy of Music,” seen by millions around the world.
Even after retiring in 1992, following nearly 40 years as the concertmaster with the
Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Joy has performed in concert at the Kennedy Center in
Washington, D.C., and as soloist with orchestras in Tennessee, Mississippi and North
Carolina. She continues to play solo concerts throughout the Southeast.
Joy is a community service leader, too. A former member of the U of M Foundation’s
board of directors, she, along with her husband, Russell, are recipients of the Governor’s
Award in the Arts for their support of all the arts throughout Tennessee. As concertmaster
emeritus, she teaches talented and aspiring young violinists.
Tickets for the awards luncheon are $50 each, or $400 for a table of eight and $500
for a table of 10. Tickets may be purchased online at www.memphis.edu/ccfa or by phone at 901-678-2350.