|Professional Performance Grant: The Collegiate Chorale. Nathan Gunn, Anna Christy, and Victoria Clark starred in a concert staging of The Firebrand of Florence at Alice Tully Hall with The Collegiate Chorale and the New York City Opera Orchestra, conducted by Ted Sperling. Photo: Erin Baiano|
The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music was founded in 1962. Although a few awards were made in the early years of the Foundation, the grant and sponsorship program began to flourish in the mid-1980s. Since 1984 independent grant panels have recommended, and the Board of Trustees has awarded, more than 500 grants and $3,000,000 to organizations and scholars worldwide in support of excellence in the presentation and study of Kurt Weill's compositions. In 2013, the Marc Blitzstein catalogue joined the list of works eligible for support.
In addition to its grant program, the Kurt Weill Foundation cultivates relationships with professional arts organizations and leading educational institutions in connection with major projects and initiatives. Organizations may approach the Foundation with ideas for projects, and the Foundation may on occasion present proposals to the organizations. Collaborative projects are developed through extended discussion between the Foundation and the organizations, and the Foundation provides substantial funding in order to make them possible.
The Lotte Lenya Competition for singer/actors was established in 1998 in celebration of the centenary of Lotte Lenya, the foremost interpreter of the music of her husband, Kurt Weill. Each year hundreds of emerging singer/actors (ages 19-32) apply for an opportunity to advance through three rounds of auditions and vie for financial prizes, including a $20,000 top award. Over $750,000 in prizes have been awarded to date.
The first Kurt Weill Prize for a scholarly book was bestowed in 1995 and the first prize for a scholarly article followed in 1999. Every two years, the author of a book and the author of an article are recognized for distinguished scholarship in music theater since 1900. Currently the awards carry cash prizes of $5,000 and $2,000, respectively. Prizes disbursed have totaled $46,000 to date.
In collaboration with the internationally renowned Glimmerglass Festival, the Kurt Weill Foundation sponsors a Kurt Weill/Lotte Lenya Glimmerglass Young Artist who has previously reached the finals of the Lotte Lenya Competition. Each season the Young Artist is selected by Glimmerglass Festival administration in consultation with the Kurt Weill Foundation. As of 2016, the Foundation has expanded the program to include sponsorship of a Kurt Weill/Lotte Lenya Artist, a designation reserved for principal guest artists at the Glimmerglass Festival who have earned a Prize in a previous Lenya Competition.
The Julius Rudel/Kurt Weill Conducting Fellowship supports one or more conductors in the early stages of a professional career who are interested in observing and/or assisting a master conductor in the preparation of a performance or production of the works of Kurt Weill and/or Marc Blitzstein.
The Kurt Weill Foundation offers funding for early-career directors and choreographers who have been selected to be part of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation Observership Program to observe important productions of stage works by Kurt Weill or Marc Blitzstein.