Princeton Symphony Orchestra awarded $1.75 million grant


The Princeton Symphony Orchestra (PSO) has been named the recipient of the $1.75 million grant from The Edward T. Cone Foundation.

In recognition of this and the Foundation’s prior gifts to the PSO’s endowment, the orchestra’s two most prestigious positions are named in perpetuity. Rossen Milanov is now the inaugural Edward T. Cone Music Director and violinist Basia Danilow now holds the George W. Pitcher Concertmaster Chair.

“Ed Cone and George Pitcher were devoted supporters of the PSO, and I can think of no more appropriate and exciting way to honor their memory than to endow these two positions,” said T. Randolph Harris, Cone Foundation trustee.

“I feel inspired and incredibly honored to be the recipient of this extraordinarily generous expression of recognition for the Princeton Symphony Orchestra and for the difference we make in the lives of so many people,” said Rossen Milonov.

Edward T. Cone was a composer, pianist, author, and teacher. He enjoyed a distinguished career as a professor of music at Princeton University, and he produced several scholarly books, many of them classics in their field.

His compositions include works for solo piano, chamber music, a symphony performed by the PSO in 2015, and settings of poetry by Paul Muldoon. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University in 1939 where he studied under Roger Sessions and a master of fine arts degree from the university in 1942.

The Edward T. Cone Foundation was founded in 1992 and has continued following Mr. Cone’s death in 2004.

George W. Pitcher was a professor of philosophy at Princeton University until his 1981 retirement and the author of multiple books including “The Dogs Who Came to Stay,” a memoir of two of the special canines he and his life partner Edward T. Cone had in their lives.

An accomplished pianist, he and Mr. Cone shared a love of classical music, opera, art, and travel. Mr. Pitcher served as a trustee of the Edward T. Cone Foundation from 1992 until his death in January 2018.

The Edward T. Cone Foundation is a major benefactor of numerous cultural and educational institutions, including Princeton University, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Princeton Symphony Orchestra, the D & R Greenway, and The Princeton Festival.

The Princeton Symphony Orchestra (PSO) is a cultural centerpiece of the Princeton community and one of New Jersey’s finest music organizations, a position established through performances of beloved masterworks, innovative music by living composers, and an extensive network of educational programs offered to area students free of charge. Led by Music Director Rossen Milanov, the PSO presents orchestral, pops, and chamber music programs of the highest artistic quality, supported by lectures and related events that supplement the concert experience. Through PSO BRAVO!, the orchestra produces wide-reaching and impactful education programs in partnership with local schools and arts organizations that culminate in students attending a live orchestral performance. The PSO receives considerable support from the Princeton community and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, regularly garnering NJSCA’s highest honor. Recognition of engaging residencies and concerts has come from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the PSO’s commitment to new music has been acknowledged with an ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming and a Copland Fund Award. The only independent, professional orchestra to make its home in Princeton, the PSO performs at historic Richardson Auditorium on the campus of Princeton University.

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