The 100th anniversary of the Juilliard School struck a sentimental chord in Bruce Kovner, one that inspired the one-time student of the New York music school to donate his priceless collection of musical manuscripts. Kovner, founder of Caxton Associates, may not have had only fond memories of his school days there – the Associated Press reports that he was "absolute terrorized" by a Juilliard harmony professor when he was evening student – but that discordant memory was not enough to scuttle plans for the donation, which really is not so unusual, since he is chairman of the school's board.
"I started collecting just for the personal pleasure of being close to these icons of the greatest musical achievements in Western Music," notes Kovner, referring to the likes of Bach, Beethoven, Brahms and Mozart, among others. "At a certain point I realized it would better to make this collection available to the rest of the world rather than to keep it under the mattress."
The collection is expected to be housed in a special climate-controlled room by September 2009, and, as far as anyone can tell, the composition compilation from Kovner comes with no strings – or brass, keyboard and woodwinds, for that matter – attached.