Drawing legions of fans to stadiums around the country, Taylor Swift was unsurprisingly the darling of Australian mainstream media during her recent tour. It seems, however, that the Australian classical music community would have been wise to target the star, considering her recent $50,000 donation to the Seattle Symphony.
As reported in the New York Times, the pop icon was inspired to donate after listening to the Seattle Symphony’s recording of “Become Ocean,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning work by John Luther Adams. The star wrote a letter to the orchestra’s music director, Ludovic Morlot congratulating him on the work, which won a Grammy for best contemporary classical composition.
Seattle Symphony has announced that the donation will support their primary school music education program, “Link Up: Seattle Symphony”. It will be interesting to see what impact attention from Swift has on the Symphony’s sales and standing in the community.
Australian audiences are familiar with the power of a Swift endorsement; earlier this year Sydney theatre company, Belvoir, conducted a successful social media campaign, #greygreyfortaytay, for permission to use her song, Shake it Off, in their play, Seventeen. A less successful campaign spearheaded by Buzzfeed tried to get Taylor Swift nominated for triplej’s Hottest 100 but the station banned the song (which would have hit no. 12).
Regardless of one’s views on the quality of her music, it’s great to see someone with such a massive audience supporting classical music.
For a Taylor Swift inspired Christmas, check out Clare’s Christmas Playlist here.