Joseph W. Polisi, President of The Juilliard School, recently announced the creation of the Kovner Fellowship Program at Juilliard that will be endowed with a gift of $60 million – the largest single one-time gift to the School – from Bruce and Suzie Kovner, long-time supporters of the School. Providing full tuition and living expenses, the Fellowships recognize the excellence of Juilliard’s classical music students and enhance the School’s 100+ year tradition of attracting and developing the most talented musicians in the world.
The scholarships cover the full cost of attendance – tuition, room and board, plus an annual stipend for enrichment and development activities – beginning with 25 students in the first year and increasing up to 52 undergraduate and graduate students annually in classical music programs by 2018. It is the only scholarship program that covers all expenses for the entire course of study at Juilliard.
Kovner Fellows will be designated from the universe of classical music students applying to The Juilliard School and from among current undergraduate and master’s level students. These classical music students at Juilliard have the opportunity to be considered for a Fellowship throughout their years of attendance. While the primary focus of this contribution is to create the Kovner Fellowship Program for classical music students, a portion of the gift will be allocated to sustain general scholarship levels for all students across the three Juilliard divisions of dance, drama, and music. Reinforcing and expanding Juilliard’s scholarship support is a significant component of the School’s strategic plan and an area that is of critical importance for the future.
Bruce Kovner, chairman of The Juilliard School’s board since 2001, and Suzie Kovner, a member of the Juilliard Drama Council, are making the gift to Juilliard at a time when institutions of higher learning see incoming classes demonstrating increased financial need, and as the performing arts also struggle for support.
The Juilliard School was founded in 1905 as the Institute of Musical Art. As an institution dedicated to excellence in the performing arts since its inception, Juilliard has educated thousands of aspiring artists from around the world in the fields of dance, drama, and music, and further instills a strong sense of activism and arts advocacy in its students. Ninety-one percent of Juilliard’s students currently receive financial aid.