We partner with dozens of cultural organizations yearly. We are a Founding Member of the Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., Global Sponsor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and serve as the main sponsor of approximately ten museum exhibitions a year.
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Founded in 1891, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO), which celebrates its 125th season in the 2015/16 season, is widely regarded as one of the world's greatest orchestras. Bank of America has partnered with the CSO for more than a decade, becoming the Global Sponsor in the historic 2010/11 season, when Maestro Riccardo Muti began his tenure as music director. Muti's dedication to bringing live symphonic music, performed at the highest artistic level, to the broadest possible audience has served as the cornerstone of the CSO’s mission.
Committed to that mission, as Global Sponsor, we have embarked on the most significant corporate sponsorship in CSO history, providing unprecedented support for the orchestra’s concerts and events at home and abroad. The CSO's dynamic season is complemented by performances by the world’s most esteemed artists from all cultures and in all genres.
The CSO is also a leader in music education and community engagement, offering some of the most innovative programs of any United States orchestra. The Negaunee Institute at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra offers 20 programs that reach more than 200,000 people each year – fostering children's cognitive development and creative growth, offering training to young musicians and providing access for all.
Acclaimed worldwide, the CSO has performed sold-out concerts in 28 countries across five continents during its 62 international tours. CSO radio broadcasts reach 20 million listeners each year via 260 terrestrial stations, satellite radio and internet downloads. The CSO has earned 62 Grammy® Awards, more than any other individual or ensemble in history. In 2007, the orchestra launched its own record label, CSO Resound. Recordings on this label have won five Grammy® Awards, including Best Classical Album, Best Orchestral Performance and Best Choral Performance. On September 11, 2015, the label released its fifth recording of a Muti-led performance by the CSO. Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique and Lélio, is a two-disc set that was recorded live in September 2010 at Orchestra Hall, during Riccardo Muti’s first subscription concerts with the orchestra at the start of his tenure as music director.
September 2015 also marked the beginning of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s celebration of its 125th season. To honor this major milestone, throughout the 2015/16 season, virtually every program will feature the performance of at least one work that was originally premiered by the orchestra. In keeping with this tradition, 22 distinguished artists will make their debuts with the CSO during the 2015/16 season.
This season also marks the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare. To commemorate, Muti will lead the CSO in Berlioz’s dramatic choral symphony, Romeo and Juliet and complete his traversal of Verdi's Shakespeare-inspired operas with three performances of Falstaff.
Throughout the season, Muti has curated a wide-ranging repertoire that will feature, among other composers, Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner, Charpentier, Corglianio, Ginastera, Mozart, Prokofiev and Tchaiskovsky. Guest residencies include maestros Esa-Pekka Salonen, Sir Mark Elder, Charles Dutoit and Christoph von Dohnányi.
The CSO will also make its first Asian tour with Muti to five cities for nine performances in Taipei, Taiwan; Tokyo, Japan; Shanghai and Beijing, China; and Seoul, South Korea. Stateside, the orchestra will travel for performances in Kansas City and Ann Arbor, and make its debut in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Other highlights include 125 free community concerts and the performance of CSO-commissioned works by Pascal Dusapin and Elizabeth Ogonek. From the CSO’s multimedia Beyond the Score series, works by Bernstein, Falla and Janáček will be featured. And joining the CSO for exclusive one-night appearances are renowned pianists Evgeny Kissin and Lang Lang.
Capping the 125th Anniversary season on June 30, July 1 and July 2, 2016, the CSO will perform John Williams' epic film score for Steven Spielberg's blockbuster Raiders of the Lost Ark, live at Symphony Center. The screenings mark the 35th anniversary of the iconic film that launched the adventures of fictional archaeologist Indiana Jones.
Photo Credit: Chicago Symphony Orchestra, ©Todd Rosenberg Photography
Season Sponsor, Carnegie Hall
The world’s most famous concert hall
Bank of America is the proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall. Carnegie Hall features the world’s finest orchestras, chamber ensembles and recitalists, as well as pop, world and jazz artists, along with new music and special commissions.
Carnegie Hall’s mission is to present extraordinary music and musicians on the three stages of this legendary hall, to bring the transformative power of music to the widest possible audience, to provide visionary education programs, and to foster the future of music through the cultivation of new works, artists and audiences.
Bank of America also supports Carnegie Hall’s Musical Exchange education program, which provides a global online community where young musicians (ages 13 and up) connect with each other, share their musical performances and participate in groups and projects led by professional artists from Carnegie Hall. Musical Exchange focuses on musical sharing, creativity and international collaboration. Young musicians from all over the world — at all levels and representing all musical styles — are invited to join the community, created by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, the Hall’s education and community arm.
Some of the current projects under way include an extended online workshop called The Singer’s Audition Handbook, providing resources to help aspiring singers to identify, prepare for and successfully audition for educational and performance opportunities; Songwriting Exchange, where professional songwriters Deidre Rodman Struck and Mike Viola help students explore songwriting techniques through a series of creative prompts, video blogs and live chats; and a humanitarian project called Music from the Mountains, developed by violinist Hannah Schneider to encourage struggling musicians in the poverty-stricken, religiously and ethnically divided North Caucasus of Russia to transcend their circumstances and differences and unite through the power of music.
Carnegie Hall’s 126th season opens Thursday, October 6 with Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Stravinsky’s vivid ballet scores for Pétrouchka and Le sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring). Throughout its illustrious history, the Hall has played host to more than 10,000 premieres. Carnegie Hall’s commitment to new music continues with the second year of its five-year 125 Commissions Project, over the span of which at least 125 new works will be commissioned from today’s leading composers. Launched during the Hall’s 125th anniversary season, the project features new solo, chamber and orchestral music from both established and emerging composers, including works in the new season by Yves Chauris, Donnacha Dennehy, Sofia Gubaidulina, James MacMillan, Frederic Rzewski, Caroline Shaw, Chris Thile and Jörg Widmann, among others.
Building upon a recent and highly successful emphasis on early-music programming, Carnegie Hall leads a citywide festival — La Serenissima: Music and Arts from the Venetian Republic — in February 2017 with concerts that feature vocal masterpieces and virtuoso instrumental music that emanated from the Republic that flourished for more than 1,000 years until it fell to Napoleon in 1797. Highlights include a survey of music from Venice, Istanbul, Cyprus and Crete by Jordi Savall and his ensembles Hespèrion XXI, Le Concert des Nations and La Capella Reial de Catalunya.
The festival extends throughout New York City with events at leading cultural institutions, including lectures, art exhibits, panel discussions and other performances that examine not just the unparalleled cultural innovations of the Venetian Republic, but also the scandalous, ribald and libertine history that the passage of time has rendered less familiar.
Carnegie Hall is proud that the music education and community programs of the Weill Music Institute (WMI) will now serve more people than ever before — nearly 600,000 participants during the coming season. Highlights include a renewed focus on expanding access to instrumental and orchestral instruction nationwide through NYO2 and PlayUSA, two initiatives that target communities underserved and underrepresented in classical music.
In summer 2016, the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA), featuring the country’s best young players ages 16–19, is led by conductor Christoph Eschenbach in a concert at Carnegie Hall that also features pianist Emanuel Ax, before NYO-USA embarks on a European tour with conductor Valery Gergiev and pianist Denis Matsuev.
Link Up, a WMI program for grades 3–5 offered for free to more than 90 orchestras nationally and in selected international locations, continues to grow, adding a fourth curriculum, The Orchestra Swings, and Musical Explorers, for grades K–2, continues to serve students across the country. WMI’s Summer Music Educators Workshop brings teachers from across the nation together to share best practices and cultivate a strong community of music educators. Among WMI’s acclaimed master classes and workshops for young musicians, Joyce DiDonato, Marilyn Horne, Dame Felicity Lott, Margo Garrett, The Tallis Scholars and Jonathan Biss lead sessions in the 2016–2017 season.
Photo: ©Jeff Goldberg/Esto
Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations
Bank of America is pleased to sponsor Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations, on view at The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian from September 21, 2014, through fall 2018.
Nation to Nation, 10 years in the making, brings together the largest historical collection of treaties made between the United States and American Indian Nations, along with more than 125 related artifacts, photographs and contemporary objects. It is divided into five chapters: Introduction to Treaties; Serious Diplomacy; Bad Acts, Bad Paper; Great Nations Keep Their Word; and The Future of Treaties.
Introduction to Treaties provides an overview of the vastly different perspectives held between non-native settlers and Native Americans, from concepts of land ownership, civic organization and leadership to the very nature and purpose of diplomacy.
Serious Diplomacy reveals the initial good intentions of settlers of the early republic, seeking security and peaceful coexistence. One of the earliest treaties on display is the Treaty of Canandaigua, signed in 1794 by members of the Iroquois Confederacy, Cornplanter, Red Jacket and Handsome Lake, and President George Washington. It allowed for the establishment of Indian territories and provided annual compensation to tribes in exchange for free passage through their lands and access to their harbors and rivers.
Bad Acts, Bad Paper highlights the events that transpired in the 1800s, when the United States’ territorial ambitions led it to craft treaties designed to confiscate Indian lands and push Native Nations west of the Mississippi. These nations also fell victim to the competing interests and conflicts between individual states and the federal government. Many states sought and won exemptions from federal treaties and went on to take the law, and Indian territories, into their own hands.
Great Nations Keep Their Word focuses on the 1900s, when the surviving Native Nations more successfully appealed for the enforcement of treaties and their rights. Efforts by Congress to nullify many pre-existing treaties were met with strong opposition and eventual defeat, while others would ultimately be struck down in U.S. courts. These victories helped to restore both the dignity and self-determination of the Native Nations.
The Future of Treaties focuses on the impact that existing treaties continue to have on relations between the United States and Native Nations and points to a future likely to be filled with both struggle and hope.
Thomas Jefferson peace medal, 1801, owned by Powder Face (Northern Inunaina/Arapaho), Oklahoma Bronze Copper alloy, hide, porcupine quills, feathers, dye, metal cones
Photo credit: Walter Larrim
American Epics: Thomas Hart Benton and Hollywood
Bank of America is pleased to sponsor American Epics: Thomas Hart Benton and Hollywood, on view at the Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, from June 10, 2016, to September 5, 2016. The exhibition was previously on view at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, from February 6 to May 1, 2016; the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri, from October 10, 2015, to January 3, 2016; and the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, from June 6 to September 7, 2015.
This is the first major exhibition on Thomas Hart Benton (American, 1889–1975) in more than 25 years and the first to explore important connections between Benton's art and the movies. The exhibition gathers more than 100 works and pairs curated scenes from Hollywood movies with Benton's art from the 1920s through the 1960s that take visitors on a journey through America's mythology and national character in the first half of the twentieth century.
After working briefly in the silent film industry, Benton became aware of the power of storytelling in motion pictures and developed a cinematic style of painting that merged classic European traditions and modern film production narrative style. In paintings, murals, drawings, prints and illustrated books, Benton captivated the public with his uniquely twentieth-century visuals to communicate epic narratives as memorably as the movies of his day. He wanted to capture the feel of motion pictures on canvas: the impression of three-dimensional space, action and lighting effects. To achieve this, Benton adopted techniques used by sixteenth-century Italian painters to sculpt and illuminate clay models before sketching the forms to work up a final painting. Early filmmakers also adopted these Old Master techniques to study scene composition. Benton's painstaking artistic process parallels the storyboard-to-final-take methods developed by the film industry.
Searching for work and opportunities in the 1920s, Benton became a set painter on silent film productions in Fort Lee, New Jersey—the nation's "first Hollywood."
Benton became intensely aware of the motion picture industry's rising influence and appeal to the public. Themes of cultural identity, westward expansion, prejudice, tolerance and the American Dream were given epic treatment on movie screens, and Benton sought to capture them. The artist embarked on an independently produced mural series, American Historical Epic. Painted between 1920 and 1928, the series measures more than 60 feet in length. Benton selected episodes from American history familiar from 1920s films, and he depicted the nation's past in ways to engage the burning issues of the day: citizenship, race relations and national identity. Benton started traveling regularly around the country in search of distinctly American subject matter. Just as in Hollywood films, he acknowledged typecasting as a way to transform the people he met into a cast of American characters, among them Yankees, bootleggers, musicians and cotton pickers. Entertained by his characterizations, 20th Century Fox commissioned Benton to create a series of lithographs in 1940 to promote John Ford's adaptation of John Steinbeck's best-selling novel The Grapes of Wrath.
Benton's celebrated mural cycles such as America Today (1930-31, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) defined him as a public artist and made him famous. His self-portrait appeared on the cover of TIME magazine in 1934. In 1937 he published his autobiography, An Artist in America, and LIFE magazine sent him to Hollywood on assignment to portray the industry at the height of its Golden Age, when two-thirds of Americans went to the movies every week. With precise detail, his 1937-38 painting Hollywood captures the realities of a bustling film set. During his month-long assignment in Hollywood, Benton drew more than 400 graphite sketches to create 40 finished ink-and-wash drawings. The exhibition includes more than a dozen of these images, which closely portray the culture, mechanics and politics of the film industry.
When America entered World War II, Benton produced Year of Peril, a mural series intended as a wake-up call to his fellow citizens about the horrors of war. "War Art Creates Sensation" is the title of the 1942 Paramount Newsreel featuring Benton and the series of graphic, violent propaganda paintings. Informed both by Hollywood motifs and the artist's memories of seeing soldiers leaving for war, Benton painted Shipping Out in 1942. The composition recalls the final scene of the celebrated 1930 anti-war movie All Quiet on the Western Front, when each soldier turns to glare directly at the viewer and bids a final farewell.
In the 1950s and ‘60s, Benton revisited the American West and painted landscapes of the Great Plains, the Grand Tetons and the Rocky Mountains. This "grand scenery," as Benton called it, inspired him to explore the visual vocabulary of Hollywood westerns and to think of his palette in terms of the rich saturation of Technicolor. Benton's final Hollywood commission was a 1954 promotional painting for The Kentuckian, starring Burt Lancaster as "Big Eli."
Thomas Hart Benton, Self-portrait with Rita, c. 1924 oil on canvas, 49" x 39 3/8" (124.5 x 99.9 cm) National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jack H. Mooney NPG 75.30.
Photo courtesy of National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution / Art Resource, NY. Art © T.H. Benton and R.P. Benton Testamentary Trusts / UMB Bank Trustee / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has been celebrating the African-American cultural experience and the American modern dance tradition for more than 50 years. Recognized by Congress as a vital American "Cultural Ambassador to the World," the company has performed for more than 23 million people in 48 states and in 71 countries on six continents.
Support enabling major American performing arts organizations to tour internationally is part of Bank of America’s strategy to increase cultural understanding and open opportunities for dialogue through the arts. At each stop, thousands of people are able to enjoy fine performances and share a cultural experience with other audiences throughout the world.
Bank of America is proud to support the Ailey company’s major international appearances for 2015. A four-week engagement at Paris’ Théâtre du Châtelet for Les Étés de la Danse International Dance Festival will take place July 7–August 1. After 17 years, a historic return to South Africa has been scheduled from September 3–20 with performances in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Extensive educational activities in area schools, communities and townships will occur, similar to Ailey’s historic 1997 residency in post-apartheid South Africa following the lifting of the international cultural boycott.
The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater was founded in 1958 by dancer/choreographer Alvin Ailey to share the richness of African-American culture and American modern dance with the world. When Ailey began creating dances, he drew upon his memories of Texas, the blues, spirituals and gospel as inspiration, which gave rise to his most popular and critically acclaimed work, Revelations. Since its debut in 1960, Ailey's Revelations has moved audiences around the world through its powerful storytelling and soul-stirring music, evoking timeless themes of determination, hope and transcendence. More people have seen Revelations than any other modern dance work in history.
Other works to be performed include repertory favorites Night Creature, Alvin Ailey’s homage to the musical genius of American composer Duke Ellington; the spiritually-charged work Grace by celebrated choreographer Ronald K. Brown; Chroma, a 2013 company premiere filled with layered, beautiful dancing and astonishing lifts by multi- award-winning British choreographer Wayne McGregor; and a high-flying and humorous solo, Takademe, by artistic director Robert Battle.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Ronald K. Brown's Grace. Photo by Paul Kolnik
SFMOMA’s grand transformation: The largest modern art museum in the United States opens
Bank of America is pleased to support the new San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), which recently opened its doors after a three-year transformation. As a Premier Sponsor, our support extends to SFMOMA’s special exhibitions and art, education and community programs. Among the exhibitions sponsored by Bank of America is the inaugural exhibition The Campaign for Art: Modern and Contemporary.
Partnering with architecture firm Snøhetta, SFMOMA’s 235,000-square-foot building expansion will nearly triple gallery space and include 45,000 square feet of art-filled space open free of charge. SFMOMA will be the largest museum for modern and contemporary art in the United States, and attendance will total more than 1 million visitors annually. The new SFMOMA will offer new ways to inspire, educate and engage visitors, through seven floors of galleries, special exhibitions and absorbing digital learning initiatives. The new Pritzker Center for Photography will be the largest space in any American art museum dedicated to the exhibition, research and interpretation of photography. In addition, admission will be free for visitors age 18 and under. The new museum will provide a showcase for works by Alexander Calder, Chuck Close, Frida Kahlo, Ellsworth Kelly, Agnes Martin, Jackson Pollock, Gerhard Richter, Richard Serra, Cindy Sherman, Andy Warhol and many others, along with postwar and contemporary artworks from the 1,100-piece Doris and Donald Fisher Collection.
The Campaign for Art: Modern and Contemporary, on view from May 14 through September 18, is one of several exhibitions highlighting contributions from the museum’s Campaign for Art. This installation will introduce a wide range of newly committed and gifted modern and contemporary works, filling in gaps and building on strengths of SFMOMA’s collection. Illustrating the extraordinary growth in every curatorial department, this exhibition will present a multidisciplinary selection from donated works to Painting and Sculpture, Photography, Media Arts and Architecture and Design. Highlights include paintings by Jackson Pollock, Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, and an entire gallery dedicated to Joseph Beuys.
The exhibition is organized around notable aesthetic breakthroughs and constellations of related European, Bay Area, and other American artists. The dawn of the twentieth century saw the rise of abstraction in tandem with the explosive growth of urban centers. Art of postwar Germany has been a particular focus for the museum over the past 25 years. The museum’s long-standing commitment to artists working in California, and especially in the Bay Area, has also been greatly reinforced by the Campaign; an array of such works are featured here and In Art of Northern California: Three Views. Photography has been fundamental to SFMOMA since the museum’s founding, and a gallery devoted to the late work of Diane Arbus showcases a major addition to the photography collection. Media arts highlights include historic pieces by performance and video pioneers Ant Farm, Lynn Hershman Leeson and Nam June Paik. The architecture and design collection presents a selection of chairs, each of a single material, and a group of experimental works of architecture by contemporary practitioners that bring innovation into focus.
This presentation of modern and contemporary works on paper inaugurates SFMOMA’s first space dedicated to the medium. Part one of a two-part exhibition, it reveals the rich array of drawings, collages and watercolors pledged to the museum through the Campaign for Art. Together the works on view reflect diverse creative approaches, including explorations of radical abstraction, conceptual control and psychological experience.
Photo credit: Snøhetta expansion of the new SFMOMA; photo: © Henrik Kam, courtesy SFMOMA.
The Met: HD Live in Schools
Major funding for The Met: HD Live in Schools was made possible by Bank of America, with program support provided through a partnership with the New York City Department of Education and other school districts across the country.
Through HD Live in Schools, teachers, students and parents can experience the world’s greatest conductors, directors, musicians and singers in riveting productions. The program, which uses opera to teach music, theater, history and English language arts, reaches students in five New York City high schools and 40 school districts in 30 states throughout the country. Teachers receive educator guides and annual training opportunities that enable them to conduct in-class workshops, which prepare students to attend live movie theater transmissions of operas—direct from the Met stage—all free of charge.
Each opera is chosen based on a variety of considerations, including the opera’s applicability to the general curriculum and engaging content for young audiences. Last season’s featured operas included Richard Strauss' Elektra, Alban Berg's Lulu, Giuseppe Verdi's Otello, as well as revivals of Giacomo Puccini's Turandot and Madama Butterfly.
Elektra is the riveting ancient Greek tale of the title character’s quest for vengeance for the murder of her father, Agamemnon. Renowned soprano Nina Stemme played the title role.
Lulu is considered one of the most important stageworks of the twentieth century. It tells the story of a young dancer who rises in German society through her relationships with wealthy men, but who later meets a tragic fate. Soprano Marlis Petersen played the title role.
Giuseppe Verdi’s Otello, based on Shakespeare’s masterpiece and originally performed at the Met in 1891, brought together an outstanding cast led by Aleksandr Antonenko in the title role.
Two revivals of Giacomo Puccini’s work were brought to the Met stage last season, Anthony Minghella’s production of Madama Butterfly and Franco Zeffirelli’s production of Turnadot. Set in the port city of Nagasaki at the end of the twentieth century, Madama Butterfly is the story of a young geisha who clings to the belief that her arrangement with a visiting American naval officer is a genuine marriage. Soprano Kristine Opolais reprised her role in the original production. Puccini’s Turnadot—his final opera—is an epic fairy tale about a Chinese princess whose riddles her suitors must solve, on pain of death if mistaken, in order to win her hand. Sopranos Lise Lindstrom and Nina Stemme took turns in the title role.
Photo Credits: EXPLORING PARTNERSHIPS: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera.