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Competitions & Awards

Juilliard Gets $20 Million

January 18, 2012 | By Susan Elliott
MusicalAmerica.com
Bruce Kovner, the Juilliard School’s board chairman, is to fully endow the school’s historical performance graduate program – to the tune of $20 million. His gift means that students in the program that focuses on music written between the 17th and 19th centuries will receive full tuition scholarships.

Juilliard initiated its degree program in this specialization in fall 2009 and graduated its first class last May. The first half of the gift was distributed in December 2011. The school anticipates an enrollment of 27 students next year, working with a 17-member faculty under Artistic Director Monica Huggett; William Christie and Jordi Savall bear the title of visiting artists.

The students, all instrumentalists, work with the vocal arts, drama and dance departments, complementing works pertinent to the era. They also perform as the group Juilliard415 during the year.

Which is all to the good, for once they graduate they will face a harsh reality. Professional performance opportunities for these specialists are few and far between – at least in New York City. Just last week, for instance, Trinity Church cut funds to its music program, which dealt heavily in the Baroque.

Juilliard has been the recipient of several other very large gifts in the last decade. In July 2010, Ellen and James S. Marcus contributed $10 million to create the Ellen and James S. Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts. In 2001 it received two major gifts: $12 million from the Jerome L. Greene Foundation and $10 million from the Irene Diamond Fund.

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