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June 2001 - Nr. 6


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New York Philanthropist to Fund German-American Musical Exchange

  TWIG - The best American musical talents will soon have opportunity to work in close collaboration with their counterparts in Berlin, thanks to a $4 million grant from New York arts patron Alberto Vilar. The endowment will be used to bring a series of outstanding composers, musicians and conductors from the United States to the German capital, Vilar announced in Berlin Monday (May 7). Visiting artists are to spend a semester at the American Academy in Berlin, collaborate with German musicians and perform with the city’s orchestras and opera companies.

Vilar, who amassed his $5 billion fortune by investing early in hi-tech companies, said he wants the program to focus on supporting musicians exploring the relationship between music and technology. Candidates will be selected by a special jury starting this September.

The Cuban-born businessman has previously made generous contributions to the Wagner Festival in Bayreuth and the Baden-Baden Festival, as well as the Metropolitan Opera in New York and the Royal Opera House in London.

Berlin Senator (Minister) for Culture Christoph Stoelzl sees Vilar’s latest gift as a chance to renew and strengthen the long-time friendship between Berlin and the United States. Vilar will be speaking to German audiences about art and philanthropy this summer on a lecture tour arranged by Germany’s federal government.

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