Juilliard’s Music Advancement Program to expand, offer full scholarships with $50 million gift

Posted on: December 17, 2021

Music Advancement Program students at a 2020 rehearsal. A gift to the Juilliard School will help expand the program, which is aimed primarily at Black and Latino young people. Photo by Rachel Papo

“For three decades, the Juilliard School has sought to bring more diversity to classical music by offering a weekend training program aimed largely at Black and Latino schoolchildren,” writes Javier Hernández in Thursday’s (12/16) New York Times. “Now the renowned conservatory is planning a major expansion of the initiative, known as the Music Advancement Program: Juilliard announced on Thursday that it had received a $50 million gift that it would use to increase enrollment in the program by 40 percent and to provide full scholarships to all participants [and create a fund to help students purchase musical instruments]. ‘This will be transformational,’ Damian Woetzel, Juilliard’s president, said.… The gift is from Crankstart, a foundation in California backed by the venture capitalist Michael Moritz and his wife, Harriet Heyman, a writer, who are longtime supporters of the program…. Anthony McGill, the New York Philharmonic’s principal clarinet and the artistic director of the program, said the gift would allow Juilliard to reach students who might have been reluctant to apply because of financial considerations…. Weston Sprott, who helps oversee the program as dean of Juilliard’s preparatory division, said … ‘Classical music can’t be the best it can be without these young people that we’re bringing into our programs.’ ”