The pianist and writer Jeremy Denk has been named a 2013 MacArthur Fellow, along with jazz pianist and composer Vijay Iyer.
Both Denk and Iyer will receive a no-strings-attached grant of $625,000 (£390,000) spread out over five years to use as they wish – an award which has earned the programme the nickname ‘genius grant’.
Denk has recorded music by Bach, Ligeti, Beethoven and a disc of French music with violinist Joshua Bell. He also writes for the New Yorker.
‘This year’s class of MacArthur Fellows is an extraordinary group of individuals who collectively reflect the breadth and depth of American creativity,’ said Cecilia Conrad, vice president of the MacArthur Fellows programme.
‘They are artists, social innovators, scientists, and humanists who are working to improve the human condition and to preserve and sustain our natural and cultural heritage. Their stories should inspire each of us to consider our own potential to contribute our talents for the betterment of humankind.’