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September 22, 2010

Kennedy Center receives $10 million gift from its chairman, Baltimore-born David Rubenstein

The Kennedy Center announced Wednesday that it has received $10 million from David Rubenstein, who was named chairman of that cultural institution in May.

The gift, spread over five years, includes $5 million for the National Symphony Orchestra "in celebration of the arrival of music director Christoph Eschenbach," to quote the press release.

Eschenbach's much-anticipated, long-awaited tenure begins Saturday with a starry gala featuring soprano Renee Fleming and pianist Lang Lang and continues next week with performances of Beethoven's Ninth.

Rubenstein, a Baltimore-born billionaire and major philanthropist, is co-founder and managing director of the private equity firm called the Carlyle Group. Among recipients of his generosity are

Johns Hopkins' Children's Center, the National Book Festival and Baltimore City College.

The latest grant to the Kennedy Center, which has received millions from him before, provides $2.5 million for artistic programming; "a significant production each season at the Kennedy Center called The Rubenstein Program" will be the result. Another $1.5 million will support the center's educational activities. Additional beneficiaries include the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor and the Kennedy Center Honors.

Rubenstein "gives in ways that support programs in which he truly believes, and that inspire others to do likewise,” Kennedy Center president Michael Kaiser said in a statement.


Posted by Tim Smith at 11:14 AM | | Comments (1)


Alsop would earn points if she were to raise some money like that.

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
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