The Francis Goelet Legacy
Francis Goelet, who died in 1998, was a true believer in the development of new music, Goelet was a longtime friend and supporter of ACO, as well as other leading music organizations including the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic and New World Records. Over the years, Goelet underwrote the commissioning and production of more new American orchestral music and opera than any other individual.
Among the composers he helped champion are many of this century's most respected: Aaron Copland, Elliott Carter, Roger Sessions, Toru Takemitsu, Luciano Berio, George Rochberg, Jacob Druckman, William Schuman, Ellen Zwilich, David Diamond, Steve Reich, John Zorn and Richard Danielpour to name a few.
Goelet was a generous donor to ACO commencing with the orchestra's tenth anniversary in 1986. His support allowed ACO to commission more than 20 new works by mostly young and emerging composers (listed below) whose pieces have helped define not only ACO's mission and commitment to American music, but have richly contributed to the repertoire of American symphonic music. Since Mr. Goelet's passing, the Estate of Francis Goelet has continued to support new music and commissions at ACO.
Mostly recently, the Goelet Estate provided ACO with a leaderhip grant to support the production of Samuel Barber's Antony and Cleopatra, performed by ACO at Carnegie Hall on April 6, 2003. This is a musical work which Goelet had more than a passing interest in. The opera was originally commissioned with the support of Francis Goelet, for the opening of the Metropolitan Opera House in 1966. And when the premiere performance was widely panned, it was Goelet who approached Barber a second time with the offer to re-commissioned a newly revised version of the opera, which was performed at the Juilliard School in 1975.
Francis Goelet was a man who understood that great art isn't made overnight, but that it must be nurtured, encouraged, supported and cherished.
After Mr. Goelet died, ACO dedicated its September 27, 1998 concert to his memory. ACO is greatful for the continued support of his estate, which keeps the living legacy of new American music alive and well.
Francis Goelet/ACO Commissions