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date: 19 October 2019

Koussevitzky Foundationslocked

  • Jane Gottlieb
  • , revised by Michael Mauskapf

Extract

Two American funding organizations established by serge Koussevitzky “to encourage contemporary composers and provide them with opportunities to create new works.” The first, the Koussevitzky Music Foundation, Inc. (founded 1942), was established by the conductor in memory of his first wife. During World War II it funded the Berkshire Music Center in Lenox, Massachusetts, which had been established by Koussevitzky in 1940. The foundation continued to pursue a variety of activities, sponsoring concerts of new music and awarding scholarships and prizes at the Berkshire center and the festival associated with it. The Serge Koussevitzky Music Foundation in the Library of Congress is a permanent endowment established by the original foundation in December 1950; it assumed responsibility for commissioning new works from composers and has continued to encourage the dissemination of this music through performance and other means. Since its inception, the foundation has served as one of the oldest and foremost commissioning initiatives, inspiring other organizations such as the Louisville Orchestra and the Rockefeller Foundation to support newly composed music. Koussevitzky himself was an ardent proponent and mentor of young composers, both in America and Europe. Through his search for the “Great American Symphony” and his role as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, with which the foundations were closely aligned until the conductor’s death in ...

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