To celebrate its special issue about giving to arts and culture, Philanthropy Magazine invited some of America’s leading arts donors and experts to weigh in on three important questions.
Rex and Jeanne share the importance of tapping into undiscovered talents, finding and growing composition in Missouri, and the goals and success of the Missouri New Music Initiative.
A symposium of America’s leading arts donors
July 1, 2011
Tell Me Something I Don’t Know About Giving to the Arts
“Tapping Into Undiscovered Talents”
Just giving money to composers and music programs isn’t enough. The Missouri New Music
Initiative is designed to find composers, to assist them in the development of their skills by
arranging for them to work with musical groups, and to have their compositions performed by
encouraging orchestras and ensembles to perform newly commissioned pieces. In the last 6 years,
the Missouri New Music Initiative has resulted in more than 100 new pieces of music being written
by composers aged 7 to 82 and being performed by ensembles, symphonies, and other musical groups. Giving to the
arts is a great way to tap into undiscovered talents and interests. With some thought and planning, arts contributors
can inspire composers, musicians, and audiences to think in new ways, to see the world in a new light, and to appreciate
things that they never knew they liked or possibly did not know existed.
What is Your Favorite Hidden gem in Arts and Culture?
“Finding and Growing Composers in Missouri”
As the result of our dedication to finding and growing composers in Missouri, we are now finding
hidden gems of new music now are popping up in unexpected and wonderful places throughout
mid-Missouri and St. Louis. In the last five years, two mid-Missouri orchestras have performed a
total of 20 new compositions. Recently, a winning composition from the Creating Original Music
Program was played by an orchestra in Thailand and by the St. Louis Symphony’s Youth Orchestra.
A new project called the Sound of Art was inspired by collaborations with the Missouri Botanical Garden and the
Contemporary Art Museum of Missouri.
Tell Me about a Really Smart Grant to the Arts
“Missouri New Music Initiative”
There is music being composed in the minds of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Missourians—music that is never
performed and never heard. The Sinquefield Charitable Foundation established the Missouri New Music Initiative t
o find and grow composers throughout the state and turn Missouri into a mecca for the original composition of music.
It began with the Creating Original Music Program for Missouri’s K–12th graders, in affiliation with the University of
Missouri–Columbia. The program is a competition for original compositions, where the winners receive a cash prize
and their entries are performed at our annual music festival. That program has expanded to a high school summer
camp, undergraduate and graduate level programs, a distance learning program, the Missouri New Music Ensemble,
and a New Music Summer Festival that attracts composers from all over the world to Missouri for a week-long
—Index fund pioneer Rex Sinquefield co-founded Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA). Jeanne Sinquefield oversaw trading at DFA and is a string bassist in three Missouri symphonies. They are co-founders of the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation.
Online at: http://www.philanthropyroundtable.org/article.asp?article=1682&paper=0&cat=149