The outgoing chair of the Curtis Institute has made a parting gift of $55 million, its largest since Mary Louise Curtis Bok founded the tuition-free, high-performance school in 1928.
It is rare for donations of this size to go to education, but Nina Baroness von Maltzahn has been closely involved with Curtis for six years, helped launch its touring programme and has given previous bequests of $11.5 million.
‘The whole set-up got very close to me,’ she tells Peter Dobrin. ‘And I did want to do something for Curtis. Curtis on Tour — I didn’t begin it, but I was there from almost the beginning, and I feel a little bit like it’s my baby. At my young age,’ — 75 — ‘I was thinking of my estate, and I had a grandmother whom I adored, and she brought me up and said, `When you can give, give with a warm hand — when you’re alive. “‘