Bill and Ann Ziff Foundation: Grants for Music

OVERVIEW: The Bill and Ann Ziff Foundation focuses its grantmaking in opera, symphonies, music education, and advocacy. Most of its giving is in New York.

IP TAKE: Fueled by the music advocacy of Tamsen Ann Ziff, the second wife of the late William B. Ziff Jr., the young foundation is already a rather robust funder of music in New York City.

PROFILE: When the late publishing and media giant, William Bernard Ziff Jr., passed away in 2006, his second wife, Tamsen Ann Ziff founded the Bill and Ann Ziff Foundation the following year. Ann Ziff serves as the president and director of the foundation.

Ann Ziff is deeply interested in the arts and music. Her mother, who performed under the name Harriet Henders, was a well-known opera soprano who made her American debut at the esteemed Metropolitan Opera. Ziff has been a consistent supporter of the opera and currently serves as chairman of the board of directors at the Metropolitan Opera. She is also on the boards of many New York City institutions including chairing the board of directors of the Metropolitan Opera. She also recently joined the board of trustees at LACMA.

The foundation has given many grants to the Metropolitan Opera. The big record-breaking grant came in 2010 to the tune of an unconditional $30 million, but the opera has seen a steady stream of money since the foundation's inception, including more than $3 million in 2013. The foundation has also given steadily to other music institutions over the years, often following the trail of Ann Ziff's board memberships. For instance, Carnegie Hall received a five-year, $2 million pledge from the foundation. The non-profit music outreach program Sing For Hope received a $500,000 five-year pledge. Sing for Hope was founded by two opera sopranos who have performed at the Metropolitan Opera, linking them to Ziff. 

A similar story seems to behind the foundation's support of the Marilyn Horne Foundation, the eponymous nonprofit organization which supports vocal recital. Founder Marilyn Horne is an opera singer who announced her new foundation at her 60th birthday at Carnegie Hall back in 1994. Over the years, the foundation has also supported the New York Philharmonic with a three-year pledge, given to the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and contributed $2 million to the Bravo Campaign at the Lincoln Center of Performing Arts over a four-year period. The Bravo Campaign has helped renovate well-known Alice Tully Hall and the Juilliard School.

Outside of New York, the foundation has also given money to music organizations in Aspen like Music Associates of Aspen, Inc and the Aspen Music Festival and School. The Ziff family has four homes and various properties in and around Aspen, and this seems to be behind the foundation's grantmaking in this region. 

Looking to the future, Ann Ziff's recent addition to the list of LACMA board of trustees might spell a new site and region for the foundation's philanthropy. For now, though, considering that the Bill and Ann Ziff Foundation is not even ten years old, their music philanthropy has been impressive.

PEOPLE:

  • Ann Ziff, President
  • Spencer Lehv, Vice President and Treasurer
  • Steven C. Feinman, Vice President
  • David Gray, Secretary

CONTACT:

The Bill and Ann Ziff Foundation
350 Park Ave. 4th Fl
New York, NY 1002