WORKHOUSE Wins Social Impact Award at 30th Annual Communicator Awards for João Carlos Martins Carnegie Hall Comeback

“Fighting Focal Dystonia: Workhouse x João Carlos Martins Majestic Musical Comeback” was conceived & produced by agency Founder & CEO Adam Nelson

Workhouse and Adam Nelson’s work on this project was really fantastic and I tried to deliver emotion to the audience during my performance. Thank you very much again for this award”

— Maestro João Carlos Martins

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, May 28, 2024 / — The 30th Annual Communicator Awards and the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts (AIVA) have recognized Workhouse with the Award of Excellence in Social Impact for their campaign “Fighting Focal Dystonia: Workhouse x João Carlos Martins Majestic Musical Comeback” conceived and produced by agency Founder & CEO Adam Nelson.

In a world where music mesmerizes and melodies mend, the legendary Brazilian pianist and conductor, João Carlos Martins, embarked on a magnificent musical odyssey. Our Workhouse campaign celebrated his remarkable journey, from the grandeur of Carnegie Hall to the grit of life’s trials, and his triumphant return to the spotlight. It all began with a viral video that resonated with millions, evolving into a worldwide symphony of resilience, harmony, and inspiration. Click here on the Winner’s Gallery to view the honorees

“Workhouse and Adam Nelson has been selected as a winner in the 30th annual Communicator Awards for my concert at Carnegie Hall as a conductor and pianist. The focus was my flight with focal dystonia for musicians, a rare disease. His work on this project was really fantastic and I tried to deliver emotion to the audience during my performance. Thank you very much again for this award.” – Maestro João Carlos Martins

Synopsis: Sixty years after his Carnegie Hall debut, João Carlos Martins, celebrated as one of the foremost interpreters of Bach in the 20th century, embarked on an astonishing encore performance. This concert commemorated the anniversary of his 1962 Carnegie Hall debut, under the sponsorship of none other than Eleanor Roosevelt. The New York Times lauded him as “one of the most important pianists in the world,” and his career had been an extraordinary crescendo until a series of tragic accidents and neurological challenges threatened to silence his music forever.

Despite these monumental setbacks, João Carlos Martins never relinquished his passion for music. He staged comebacks, underwent numerous surgeries, and ultimately found a new calling in conducting. He established the Bachiana Chamber Orchestra and the Bachiana Youth Orchestra, providing a lifeline for budding musicians from underserved backgrounds. His commitment to democratizing classical music earned him accolades, including the highest Brazilian government award for a classical artist.

The turning point in his odyssey arrived with the creation of bionic extender gloves, a marvel designed by the ingenious industrial designer Ubiratan Bizarro Costa. These gloves granted João Carlos Martins the ability to play the piano once more, a moment of heartwarming and emotional resonance captured in a viral video that touched hearts across the globe.

To foster awareness about focal dystonia for musicians, Workhouse produced a press conference in collaboration with the World Health Organization. Eminent scientists and experts illuminated the challenges faced by musicians and the importance of their mental well-being.

Workhouse produced a film screening of “João o Maestro,” a biographical feature film directed by Mauro Lima, transporting audiences deeper into the maestro’s life. A Q&A session with João Carlos Martins himself offered a glimpse into his odyssey and his enduring love affair with music.

A historic, heart-tugging commercial produced by Workhouse celebrated João Carlos Martins’ 60th Anniversary return to Carnegie Hall, capturing the essence of his remarkable narrative. It resonated with audiences as it echoed in the digital expanse of Times Square.

The Workhouse campaign secured a constellation of feature stories, joining the chorus in heralding João Carlos Martins’ triumphant return to Carnegie Hall.

João Carlos Martins’ Carnegie Hall comeback featured a program that paid homage to his profound love for Bach and his Brazilian heritage. NOVUS NY joined him for a concert that encompassed Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, Heitor Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras, and a world premiere by Brazilian composer André Mehmari.

The Workhouse campaign reverberates with the remarkable resonance of João Carlos Martins’ resilience and artistry, celebrating a true titan in the tapestry of classical music. His odyssey shines as a beacon of hope and inspiration, a harmonious reminder that music can heal, uplift, and unite people, even amidst life’s most challenging movements.

With over 3,000 entries received from across the US and around the world, the Communicator Awards is the largest and most competitive awards program honoring creative excellence for communications professionals. The competition celebrated its 30th anniversary this year with a pledge to honor timeless communication. Winners who received the competition’s highest honor, the Award of Excellence, include Disney, The White House Historical Association, Mastercard, George P. Johnson Experience Marketing, AARP, Veritas, IBM, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Hearts & Science, PBS, Havas, PepsiCo and many others. Please visit the Communicator Awards Winners Gallery to view all the winners this season. Firms including: GE Digital, Spotify, Condè Nast, Disney, Accenture Song, Superfly, Fast Company, Digitas, and many others. See for more information.


Workhouse is one of the country’s leading public relations and integrated creative agencies. Celebrating 25 years of service this year, the agency provides forward-thinking public relations, social media, brand promotion, creative consulting and, modern-day marketing. Clients have included The Rolling Stones, The Charlie Chaplin Estate, Hugh Jackman, Francis Ford Coppola, Lou Reed, Matthew Modine, David LaChapelle, The Anthony Quinn Estate, CBGB, Max’s Kansas City, Interview Magazine, Galleries Lafayette, Porsche, Ford Motor Company, UnitedMasters, Virgin, Jazz at Lincoln Center, International Emmy Awards, Assouline Editions, Rizzoli International Publications, Moose Knuckles, TheHomeMag, Tony Shafrazi Gallery, Chase Contemporary, Versace, and Avroko. Workhouse offers untraditional services across a broad spectrum of entertainment, culture, fashion, and lifestyle spheres. Visit


Los Angeles Magazine: “How Adam Nelson Became the Class Clown of Creative Communications” (July, 2023)

Interested media contact Kat Carlson, WORKHOUSE, +1 212-645-8006 // [email protected]

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