‘Passionate’ classical donor gives $10 million to radio station

‘Passionate’ classical donor gives $10 million to radio station


norman lebrecht

November 17, 2015

Minnesota Public Radio has been given $10 million by a person who is ‘passionate about classical music and music education’. That’s all we know about him, or her.

The donation is completely without restrictions. MPR run a good classical station.

But if you had $10m to burn, would you give it to local presenters – or to performers?

Pictured: Minnesota Orchestra during its 16-month lockout



  • Eric says:

    Let’s be clear – this money was given to a radio network, and not a presenter nor a performer. It’s about supporting them with funds to continue to distribute classical music on air.

    • norman lebrecht says:

      The radio network is a presenter, a presenting organisation.

      • Eric says:

        But that’s classifying them by a small portion of what they do, rather than the large portion of what they do. Plus, according to the link you supplied, the money is going to areas other than any presenting they do: “The donation was given without restrictions and will be used to enable digital growth and audience integration in addition to classical music programming, music in schools and marketing, MPR reports.”

    • Chen G says:

      Just a note that MPR classical does more than just distribute music. One such item would be resident artists program on MPR. MPR also plays a big role in music education. Let me also state that I am a (at least 5-10 hr a day) listener of the MPR classical, a MPR member and I am not even a Minnesota resident.

  • David Leibowitz says:

    Of course, since the donor is anonymous, we have no way of knowing if he/she/they have also given to other performers, presenters, or whatever.

  • bratschegirl says:

    From the MPR website:

    “Minnesota Public Radio® (MPR) is one of the nation’s premier public radio stations producing programming for radio, online and live audiences and operates a 45-station radio network serving nearly all of Minnesota and parts of surrounding states. Reaching 900,000 listeners each week, MPR and its three regional services—MPR News, Classical MPR and The Current—produce programming for radio, online and face-to-face audiences. Programs produced by MPR’s parent company, American Public Media®, reach nearly 19 million listeners on nearly 1,000 radio stations nationwide each week. A complete list of stations, programs and additional services can be found at mpr.org. MPR meets all 27 of the Charities Review Council (CRC) Accountability Standards.”

    And: “Minnesota Public Radio uses its regional network and technical infrastructure to deliver vital public services throughout Minnesota, specifically: the state’s Emergency Alert System (EAS); the state’s AMBER Alert System, used for child-abduction warnings; and Radio Talking Book, the reading service from the Minnesota State Services for the Blind. Minnesota Public Radio’s 1,058-seat Fitzgerald Theater and 100-seat UBS Forum provide venues for live remote broadcasts, discussion forums, political debates, cultural programming and more.”

    And: “MPR News has received more than 1,000 awards, including the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award, George Foster Peabody Award and numerous national Edward R. Murrow Awards. APM, MPR’s parent company, produces more classical music programming than any other media outlet and ranks second in the nation for overall public radio programming production volume.”

    Supporting individual performance organizations is wonderful (and by the way, there’s no reason to assume this donor isn’t already doing that as well). But this is A Good Thing. Mr Lebrecht, you must have arisen on the Grinchy side of the bed today.

    • Don Drewecki says:

      Anyone who listens to Minnesota Public Radio’s Classical 24 service will know that it is a muzak service with happy, chatty announcers and an endless supply of baroque music. This well-heeled “music lover” seems clueless.

      • Herbert Pauls says:

        A few hours north, here in Winnipeg, we have a relatively new station, Classic 107, that plays a lot of rare and interesting music. For example, turning on the radio at random times in the last couple of days I have heard a late Faure cello sonata, Gade’s Third Symphony and Alkan’s Concerto da Camera No 3. The station also has a streaming service.

  • Joneser says:

    MPR carries a lot of broadcasts, often live, of performances by local groups like the Minnesota Orchestra. Who knows how much of the donation will go to fund this? It’s greatly expanding the audience for these “local performers”.

  • Jeremy says:

    Anyone with $10 million to spare will have done his homework.