December 12, 2018
New World Symphony Receives $2.5 Million Investment from Knight Foundation

MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA (December 12, 2018) — The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced a $2.5 million commitment over the next five years to the New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy (NWS), to push the boundaries of expression by commissioning new works; using technology to engage with students, teachers and audiences; and taking a leadership position in diversifying classical music through programs and partnerships.

The support is part of Knight Foundation’s Dec. 3 announcement of $37 million in new funding to further strengthen the Miami arts and cultural ecosystem, bringing its total funding of the city’s arts sector to $165 million since 2005. New World Symphony is one of 22 arts organizations that received Knight support.

“Knight Foundation has been a constant friend of the arts in Miami and of the mission of the New World Symphony,” said NWS Co-Founder and Artistic Director Michael Tilson Thomas. “We could not imagine a better partner and are extraordinarily grateful for their trust in us, and in the future of our art form. I especially want to salute Alberto Ibargüen for his focused vision and for leadership which has inspired us all to give back to our community and to search for opportunities for connecting technology and the arts.”

“The New World Symphony has established a reputation for pioneering work in the integration of digital media with music performance and education,” said NWS President and CEO Howard Herring. “Knight Foundation has been a strong partner in these efforts. Without its support, WALLCAST® concerts would not be bringing sophisticated classical music presentations to thousands of Miami citizens each year; MUSAIC would not be providing online musical training to thousands of music students around the world; and NWS would not be as well equipped to create new genres of multi-disciplinary artistic expression, particularly using digital technology. Such experiments at New World provide artists, concert producers and audiences with new models for the way music is taught, presented and experienced, and support from Knight Foundation has been key to enabling these activities.”

Digital expression and learning come together in the Knight New Media Center, established at the New World Center through Knight Foundation support in 2008. The facility is a laboratory and workshop for MTT-led Fellows, staff and alumni to re-imagine the future of classical music in a digital world. Thanks to Knight Foundation’s continued support, the New World Symphony can further grow and develop this mission.

“Art and culture bind people to place and to each other. A dozen years ago, we saw an arts community that could be leveraged to make art general in Miami,” said Alberto Ibargüen, President of Knight Foundation. “One hundred and sixty-five million dollars over a decade says we’re serious about this. The latest $37 million says we’re delighted with the impact and are shifting focus more toward the middle-level arts organizations and with a much greater emphasis on the creation of art in the city.”

Knight Foundation’s $37 million in new funding complements and expands the two-tier funding strategy that it has used to support the growth of the arts in South Florida for more than a decade. Close to two-thirds of Knight Foundation’s investments have gone to anchor arts institutions, often to help them engage the public, and the rest has gone to bring 384 arts ideas to life through the Knight Arts Challenge, which is open to all, including individual artists.

About the New World Symphony
The New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy, prepares graduates of music programs for leadership roles in professional orchestras and ensembles. In the 30 years since its co-founding by Artistic Director Michael Tilson Thomas and Lin and Ted Arison, NWS has helped launch the careers of more than 1,100 alumni worldwide. A laboratory for the way music is taught, presented and experienced, the New World Symphony consists of 87 young musicians who are granted fellowships lasting up to three years. The fellowship program offers in-depth exposure to traditional and modern repertoire, professional development training and personalized experiences working with leading guest conductors, soloists and visiting faculty. Relationships with these artists are extended through NWS’s extensive distance learning via the internet. NWS Fellows take advantage of the innovative performance facilities and state-of-the art practice and ensemble rooms of the Frank Gehry-designed New World Center, the campus of the New World Symphony. Learn more about the New World Symphony at

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit

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