Media Contact

Shiva Shafii,
Public Relations Manager




Press Release:


Press Release:

Thursday, 3 December, 2015

Gift Supports Music Education and Musicians’ Pension Fund

Seattle, WA — The Seattle Symphony has received a major donation in the amount of $50,000 from recording artist Taylor Swift, in support of the future of the orchestra’s musicians and musicians of the future. Swift’s donation to the Seattle Symphony will support two signature programs, Link Up: Seattle Symphony, which will reach over 12,000 third through fifth graders this year, and the musicians’ pension fund.  

Inspired by listening to the orchestra’s 2014 recording of John Luther Adams’ Become Ocean, Swift wrote to Music Director Ludovic Morlot to express her appreciation to the musicians who recorded the music. “I was thrilled to hear that Taylor was moved by Become Ocean, like all of us at the Seattle Symphony,” Morlot said. “This is a powerful piece with a unique soundscape. 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.” In her letter to Morlot, Swift also praised the beauty of the composition, the musicianship of the orchestra and reminisced about going to hear her local symphony with her grandmother and how important the experience was to her.

Link Up: Seattle Symphony is the organization’s signature education program, which will reach over 12,000 students this year. In this highly participatory program, students learn to sing and play an instrument in the classroom using the Link Up curriculum, then perform with the Seattle Symphony from their seats during the culminating concerts at Benaroya Hall. In 2014, the initial year of the program, over 6,000 students participated, and last year, over 9,000 students took part. Additional information about Link Up: Seattle Symphony is available on the Seattle Symphony website, including a 2014 video and 2015 fact sheet showing the impact of Link Up on teachers and students.

Gifts to the Seattle Symphony’s musicians’ pension fund are made through the annual Holiday Musical Salute fundraising event. Over its 20-year history, the event has raised over $1 million, helping to provide a secure future for Seattle Symphony’s musicians. The 21st Annual Holiday Musical Salute will be held this year on December 8 at the Westin Seattle Hotel.

The Seattle Symphony commissioned John Luther Adams' Become Ocean in 2011 and gave the world premiere in June 2013, followed by a performance at Carnegie Hall in May 2014 as part of the Spring for Music Festival. The piece, which makes a powerful statement about climate change, won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Music. The Seattle Symphony’s recording won the 2015 Grammy for Best Contemporary Classical Composition, and also received a 2015 Grammy nomination for Best Orchestral Performance and Best (Classical) Engineered Album, iTunes Classical Album of the Year for 2014 and best-of lists from NPR, The New York Times, The Boston Globe and The Daily Beast. Click here for more information on Become Ocean, which is available on the Cantaloupe Music label.

The Seattle Symphony’s commission of Become Ocean was generously underwritten by Lynn and Brian Grant.

Seattle Symphony’s Link Up program is supported by The Boeing Company, The Clowes Fund, Inc., the Elizabeth McGraw Foundation, Richard and Francine Loeb, the Peg and Rick Young Foundation, The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation and the Wyman Youth Trust, with in-kind support from music4life and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute.

Holiday Musical Salute is sponsored by Delta Air Lines.

About the Seattle Symphony

The Seattle Symphony is one of America's leading symphony orchestras and is internationally acclaimed for its innovative programming and extensive recording history. Under the leadership of Music Director Ludovic Morlot since September 2011, the Symphony is heard from September through July by more than 500,000 people through live performances and radio broadcasts. It performs in one of the finest modern concert halls in the world — the acoustically superb Benaroya Hall — in downtown Seattle. Its extensive education and community engagement programs reach over 65,000 children and adults each year. The Seattle Symphony has a deep commitment to new music, commissioning many works by living composers each season, including John Luther Adams' recent Become Ocean, which won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Music and a 2015 Grammy for Best Contemporary Classical Composition. The orchestra has made nearly 150 recordings and has received 18 Grammy nominations, two Emmy Awards and numerous other accolades. In 2014 the Symphony launched its in-house recording label, Seattle Symphony Media.

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