Boston University Tanglewood Institute receives largest NEA Grant in its history
Boston, MA – As the Boston University Tanglewood Institute (BUTI) launches its 45th season, it does so with the substantial backing of an $80,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). A program of the Boston University College of Fine Arts School of Music, BUTI recruits a select group of gifted high school musicians each summer to the Tanglewood grounds for its training programs for orchestra, voice, wind ensemble, piano, composition, and harp, as well as workshops for individual instruments and chamber ensembles. Since 1999, BUTI has received NEA funding for all of the eight years it has applied; prior to this award its largest grant was $35,000 in 2009.
Led by Phyllis Hoffman, Artistic and Executive Director, BUTI is considered one of the most prestigious summer music programs for high school students in the United States. With auditions held in eight cities this year, 811 students applied and auditioned for 338 seats in the program, representing 38 states and 11 foreign countries, including Korea, China, Israel, Germany, Chile, Mexico, and Singapore.
The NEA grant will be used to support two aspects of the program. First, to fund salaries for artists-in residence to work with student musicians in the program’s two large ensembles, the Young Artists Orchestra (YAO) and the Young Artists Wind Ensemble (YAWE). Second, the grant will support BUTI staff efforts to recruit and enroll a more diverse student population by providing additional scholarship funds for students admitted to the YAO and YAWE from underserved populations. An average of 30 percent of BUTI students receive financial assistance, and for the summer of 2010, 13 percent of the YAO and YAWE student body describe themselves as minorities.
Hoffman explains the significance of this particular grant: “The NEA grant is a gratifying endorsement of BUTI’s priorities of fostering artistic excellence in the preparation of the next generation of classical musicians, and increasing annually the enrollment of gifted minority students.”
An ever-growing roster of distinguished BUTI alumni are prominent in today’s classical music industry, including Harry Connick, Jr., jazz vocalist and pianist; Nico Muhly, composer; Kirill Gerstein, pianist and winner of the 2010 Gilmore Artist Award; and James Gaffigan, associate conductor of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra; as well as fourteen members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, including Steven Ansell, principal violist, and Timothy Genis, principal timpanist.
The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts, both new and established; bringing the arts to all Americans; and providing leadership in arts education. In addition to the NEA, other BUTI corporate and foundation funders include the ASCAP Foundation, Avedis Zildjian Company, Bose Corporation, the Clovelly Foundation, the Music Drives Us Foundation, the Surdna Foundation, and Yamaha Piano/Falcetti Music.
For more information on BUTI and its 2010 concert schedule, please visit www.bu.edu/cfa.