James Taylor is generous donor to Boston Symphony
Taylor notes that “the support for classical music is diminishing." He and his wife, a former Boston Symphony staffer, "have real concerns for what the future is for it. We also know it takes a huge structure to maintain a symphony and a lot of money.’’
Now, imagine how cool it would be to hear Britney or Lil Wayne say -- and do --something like that, too. (Go ahead, suspend disbelief for a second.)
Here's more on this feel-good story from the Boston Globe:
LENOX - The tickets sold out faster than any others in recent Tanglewood history. And they were not for just one night, or one show; these tickets were for a weeklong festival celebrating a bald, 61-year-old, baby boomer icon.
James Taylor, who has adopted the Berkshires as his home and musical headquarters, will be performing at the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s summer campus. What’s more, the Grammy-winner, starting next Wednesday, will be the centerpiece of an unprecedented five-day festival. Never before has the BSO devoted so much attention to a mainstream musician.
For the BSO, which has faced financial challenges in recent years, the Taylor event will do more than introduce new visitors to the lush grounds of the campus. It will provide a financial boost. Instead of being paid for the gig, Taylor will give the symphony $500,000, his earnings after expenses. For Taylor, who has literally married into the BSO - his wife, Kim, was a longtime staffer and has now been elected to serve as a trustee - the concerts, roundtables, and master classes represent his latest and most dramatic show of support for the institution. Taylor, who played the cello as a boy, said that it is not by chance.
“The support for classical music is diminishing,’’ Taylor explained on a recent afternoon from his home in Lenox. “We have real concerns for what the future is for it. We also know it takes a huge structure to maintain a symphony and a lot of money.’’
The amount of Taylor’s gifts - the couple gave $500,000 this year and more than $700,000 in total from 2005 to 2008 - is large but not unheard of. The BSO has 60 other donors who have given $1 million or more over time. What makes the giving special, though, is that it is coming from a pop superstar. It comes as the relationship between the institution and the singer deepens.
Taylor has already committed to a pair of shows next July, and Mark Volpe, the BSO’s managing director, said that the singer can return for as long as he wants ...
BALTIMORE SUN FILE PHOTO