When the Helen F. Whitaker Fund was established in 1982, it quickly took on a significant role in new music funding. Its namesake was a businesswoman and widow of the founder of AMP, a manufacturer of electrical connectors. A lover of music, Mrs. Whitaker gave her fund the mandate “to help ensure the vitality of Western classical music in the United States.”
The Fund has made national grants for composers, like its support to Meet The Composer’s Commissioning Music/USAsupport that was restricted to emerging classical composers only. It has a particular interest in advanced training in classical music. For composers, the Fund supports the programs at Tanglewood and Aspen, and the Whitaker New Music Reading Sessions at the American Composers Orchestra.
Over the past three years, the Fund has played an historic role in helping plan and provide for the future of national service organizations. The American Composers Forum, the American Music Center, Chamber Music America, and Meet The Composer are among those the Fund is helping to endow to ensure a vital support system for classical music’s next generation.
From On the Money: New Music Funding in the United States
by Theodore Wiprud
© 2000 NewMusicBox