Violin teacher donates $7 million to USC Thornton School of Music

It’s not unusual for philanthropic gifts to come with strings attached, but the $7-million donation that USC’s Thornton School of Music is announcing Friday from a longtime professor, violinist Alice Schoenfeld, is a gift attached to strings.

The money establishes a new endowment whose earnings will provide scholarships for students studying stringed instruments. The strings department currently has 74 students.

It comes on top of a $3-million donation from Schoenfeld that was announced in the fall, for a newly renovated hall previously used by USC’s film school that is now a symphonic rehearsal space with recording capabilities.

Both the symphonic hall and the scholarship fund are named in honor of Schoenfeld, who began teaching at USC in 1960, and her late sister, Eleonore, a cellist who also taught for many years at USC and was Alice’s performing partner in a decades-long international concert career.



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