The Yamaha Music and Wellness Institute (YMWI), Meadville, Pa, recently presented concert pianist maestro Byron Janis (pictured right, center) with a lifetime achievement award in recognition of his advocacy efforts in the field of arthritis and in championing individuals, particularly children, who live with the challenges of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. The event was designed to highlight the ambassador and composer’s skills and persevering spirit in spite of his multiple hand surgeries.
Barry Bittman, MD, neurologist, YMWI CEO, emphasizes the organization’s pride in presenting the award to Janis, “As a musician, I recognize Byron’s immerse creativity and unparalleled virtuosity as pure genius. As a physician, I’m inspired by his relentless will to persevere against what would have been career-ending challenges for others. Finally, as an individual, I’m in awe of the power of his spirit that relentlessly continues to inspire a refreshing sense of hope for those in need,” Bittman says. Janis also reportedly received the distinction of presidential advisor to the YMWI, an additional nod to his work in the field of arthritis advocacy.
According to a recent news release, Inside Edition anchor and journalist Deborah Norville (pictured above, right) hosted the event, which also featured a presentation by John Klippel, MD, president and CEO of the Arthritis Foundation, a reading by Reverend Mother Dolores Hart (pictured above, left), and performances that included violinist and juvenile arthritis patient Margo Deihl, Harvard Trio pianist Richard Kogan, MD, and Janis himself.
The release notes that since 1986, Janis has served as the international ambassador to the arts for the Arthritis Foundation and routinely presents workshops geared toward arthritis patients, encouraging them to achieve their goals and overcome obstacles.