The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has appointed Susan Feder to the position of program officer for the performing arts, effective January 1, 2007. For the past twenty years, Feder has served as vice president of G. Schirmer, Inc., where she developed the careers of many leading composers in America, Europe, and the former Soviet Union. Feder succeeds Catherine Maciariello, who served as program officer from 1996 to 2006.
“It is difficult to imagine another position that would have tempted me away from the stimulation of working with the composers at Schirmer and the international Music Sales Group and hearing their music created and sustained by the world’s finest performers,” says Feder. “The Mellon Foundation [is] a visionary organization with the capacity to make transformative grants to performing arts organizations, libraries and museums, and institutions of higher education, areas of longstanding professional and personal interest to me. With a great sense of anticipation, I look forward to working closely with my new colleagues, and with the field’s leaders and innovators, to help ensure that the performing arts continue to thrive.”
Previously the editorial coordinator of The New Grove Dictionary of American Music and the program editor for the San Francisco Symphony, Feder is also currently vice president of the Amphion Foundation, a philanthropic organization that supports new music. A graduate of Princeton University, Feder serves on the University’s Music Department Advisory Council and the Alumni Schools Committee. Feder received an MA in the History and Literature of Music from the University of California, Berkeley. She has served for many years on the board of directors of the American Music Center (where most recently she has been Second Vice President), as well as the boards of the Music Publishers Association and the Charles Ives Society. She has also served on the Symphonic and Concert Committee at ASCAP and the Strategic Planning Committee of the American Symphony Orchestra League. Her program notes, liner notes, and music criticism have appeared in a variety of publications, and she is a frequent speaker on issues related to music publishing. Her honors include ASCAP’s Concert Music Award (2001), where she was described as “Publisher, Advisor, Friend, and Champion,” an ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for her program notes for the American Composers Orchestra, and the dedication of John Corigliano’s Pulitzer-Prize winning Symphony No. 2.
According to a source at G. Schirmer, Robert Wise, chairman of the Music Sales Group, is committed to finding the strongest possible successor. Barrie Edwards, president of Music Sales Corp., has already begun the process of interviewing candidates. In the meantime, Peggy Monastra will assume the position of interim general manager, in addition to her duties as director of promotion.
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is a private philanthropic institution, with assets of approximately $5 billion, that makes grants on a selective basis to institutions of higher education, independent libraries, centers for advanced study, museums, art conservation, and performing arts organizations. The Foundation’s Performing Arts Program focuses on achieving long-term results by providing multi-year grants to leading organizations in the disciplines of music, theater, dance, and opera. These grants, which are awarded on the basis of artistic merit and leadership in the field, seek to strengthen institutional artistic and administrative capacity; encourage the development and performance of new work; identify and train new generations of arts leaders; reinforce the role of individual artists within institutions; and expand research, learning, and scholarship in the performing arts. Annual giving in the area of performing arts has averaged $20 million since 2000. In 2004, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation was awarded a National Medal of Arts.