Curtis Institute receives record $55 million gift

May 12, 2016, 8:53 AM · The Curtis Institute of Music will receive a $55 million gift from outgoing board chairman Nina Baroness von Maltzahn -- a gift that is among the largest ever received by a music school in the U.S.

It's a very large gift for a very small school -- the Curtis Institute, located in Philadelphia, has about 175 students, all who attend tuition free. It's also the largest single gift the school has received since Mary Louise Curtis Bok established the school's tuition-free policy in 1928.

"The students at Curtis are so close to my heart. To hear them perform, to support their learning and to see them flourish is immensely gratifying," Maltzahn said in a press release. "Over the past two years as board chair, I've witnessed the evolution of young string quartets in residence at Curtis into fully fledged professional ensembles and seen Curtis on Tour strengthen the school's presence in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and across the United States. I'm so pleased my gift will allow this growth to continue, and hopefully serve as an inspiration to others who want to support education and music-making at the highest level."

"The Board of Trustees is moved by the magnitude of Nina's generosity," said Mark Rubenstein, a trustee since 2009 who will succeed Baroness von Maltzahn as board chair. "Curtis's signature full-tuition scholarship policy has kept the school at the forefront of the world's conservatories. However with no tuition revenue, it also means that the generosity of individual donors is of extreme importance. Nina has our profound thanks for her vision and support."

Maltzahn joined the Curtis board of overseers in 2008 and the board of trustees in 2010. She became chair of the board of trustees in June 2014, succeeding H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest. Maltzahn's $55 million gift, which will be paid out over five years, will be added to the school's endowment, and Curtis will name two key initiatives in her honor: the Nina von Maltzahn String Quartet Program and Curtis on Tour, the Nina von Maltzahn Global Touring Initiative. Maltzahn and her husband made previous gifts to Curtis, for a grand total of about $70 million, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Lenfest and his wife Marguerite gave a similar amount over a span of years.


May 13, 2016 at 05:44 AM · great woman

May 13, 2016 at 02:19 PM · Just curious, in what way did she (or probably her ancestors) make a fortune?

May 14, 2016 at 06:43 PM · The Klayman Institute is now gratefully accepting contributions! ;-)

May 16, 2016 at 07:51 AM · God bless this dear woman

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