25-year-old global pop-sensation Taylor Swift has hit the headlines for her generous donation to Seattle Symphony Orchestra (SSO). Early in December the orchestra received an unexpected USD50,000 (€36,000) donation from Swift.
Swift, who used to attend SSO concerts as a child with her grandmother, was inspired to make the donation after hearing John Luther Adams’ Become Ocean. The piece won a 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Music and a 2015 Grammy, and was originally commissioned by SSO. Adams’ took inspiration from the scenery and character of the Pacific North West, where SSO is based.
‘I was thrilled to hear that Taylor was moved by Become Ocean,’ said SSO director Ludovic Morlot, who conducted the recording that Taylor heard. ‘We’re especially thankful that she wishes to support our musicians, and that she shares our belief that all people should be able to experience symphonic music.’
This is not the first time Swift has supported an orchestra: in 2013 she gave USD100,000 to the cash-strapped Nashville Symphony, having previously been a recipient of its annual Harmony Award in 2011. Swift was in the news earlier this year for two other large donations, giving USD50,000 to two young fans suffering from cancer and 25,000 books to New York schools.
SSO plan to use Swift’s donation to support their musicians’ pension fund, and to finance a music-education programme for local schools titled Link Up: Seattle Symphony. Link Up will work with kids aged 8-11 across the city and reach over 12,000 students in total.