John Grillo sent me a link to this story in today’s New York Times:
An anonymous donor has promised $90 million for the Frank Gehry-designed future home of the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Fla., one of the largest gifts to a classical music institution.
The news was good for the orchestra — a professional-level ensemble that trains young conservatory graduates for life in a symphony — but premature.
Orchestra officials said yesterday that they had hoped to announce the gift in the fall, when ground is to be broken on the project. But a board member, Neisen O. Kasdin, let word drop on Tuesday in presenting the building’s plans before the Miami Beach Design Review Board, irritating the orchestra’s marketing staff. The meeting was routinely videotaped and posted on the city’s Web site.
Howard Herring, the orchestra’s president and chief executive, said the commitment was made two years ago. “We intend to honor this gift by making our contribution to the future of classical music,” Mr. Herring said.
The new building will include a 700-seat hall, practice rooms, offices and state-of-the-art media and technical equipment. The project includes a small park and a parking lot. It will sit on Lincoln Road, a boulevard of restaurants, clubs and souvenir shops.
This is great news for the New World Symphony. The orchestra expects to raise $45 million from the local government and and additional $35 million from additional sources. Keeping the new facility on Lincoln Road is a very good idea, since the orchestra’s home has been on this street since its inception.
A $90 million dollar gift is an enormous contribution for an arts organization, especially one with an $8.5 million annual budget. This exciting news ensures an even brighter future for this fine organization.
John Grillo, one of my Contrabass Conversations guests, was a New World Symphony fellow, and one of my guests in the next couple of episodes was also a fellow for this program, so stay tuned to the show for more information on life in the New World Symphony.