U.S./world – Arts blitz – Unprecedented spree

Alberto W. Vilar, a Cuban-born high-tech investor and opera lover has pledged $20 million to New York University for an international arts scholarship program, continuing a remarkable seven-month contribution blitz to benefit the classical performing arts, The New York Times reported March 27.

A longtime contributor to favorite institutions and personalities, plus educational and health-care groups, Vilar seems to stand head and shoulders above patrons of opera and the performing arts, according to records at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, the Times said.

Recent gifts by Vilar, founder and principal portfolio manager of Amerindo Investment Advisers, include:

* $14 million to the Kirov Opera and Ballet of St. Petersburg in Russia.

* $6 million for new productions at the Los Angeles Opera, plus $1 million a year for a young artists’ program.

* $5 milion to the Muiskverien Opera House in Vienna.

* $5 million for a competition and training program for young conductors.

* $50 million to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. for a training program for arts managers and annual visits by the Kirov companies.

* $8 million to the Washington Opera for a training program for new arts and production of an opera.

In the past decade, he has pledged $36 million to the Metropolitan Opera for endowment and products; $5.6 million to Carnegie Hall for restoration; and $15 million for the Salzburg Festival in Austria.

For full story, go to The New York Times.

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