GREENSBORO — Last summer, a young pianist from Israel planned to study at the Eastern Music Festival.
He had paid for tuition, room and board from EMF scholarship funds and his own money. But he still needed $1,200 for travel costs.
EMF staff, faculty and patrons came to the rescue. Over just 48 hours, they dug into their own pockets to cover the gap.
Thanks to a gift from an anonymous donor, the summer classical music festival will be better able to respond to such needs.
The $300,000 gift, announced Wednesday, will help EMF to sustain its international efforts.
It will provide funds for scholarships, guest artists and international outreach and recruitment during the 2019-2022 seasons.
“This major gift allows us, over the coming four years, to be strategic and thoughtful as we look to engage students, artists and institutions outside of the US,” EMF Executive Director Chris Williams said in a news release.
Each summer, the EMF brings more than 220 musicians ages 14 to 23 from the U.S. and abroad, and professionals to teach them, to the Guilford College campus.
For the public, it offers five weeks of nightly concerts at Guilford College and other venues, under the artistic direction of Gerard Schwarz.
EMF provides more than $350,000 in annual scholarship support to students, and employs more than 100 musicians and support staff during the summer season.
Last summer, EMF attracted 31 student musicians and three faculty members from outside the country.
“Our international students are tremendous assets, and our foreign-based teachers are top notch,” EMF board chairman Dr. Timothy W. Lane said in the news release.
“The students learn a little about America and a lot about music while here,” Lane said. “They are also sharing cultural and artistic ideas with our U.S.-born students. All of us benefit.”
The $300,000 gift, to be realized in equal $75,000 installments over four years, is flexible by design.
Each year, the festival plans to use most of the funds for scholarship and student travel expenses. Some funds will be set aside for international marketing projects, and some will be reserved for opportunities unforeseen.
“Maybe one year we’ll be able to welcome a distinguished guest artist or clinician, and the next we’ll be able to send one of our faculty members abroad on a recital or recruiting trip,” Lane said.
Contact Dawn DeCwikiel-Kane at 336-373-5204 and follow @dawndkaneNR on Twitter.