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New World Symphony advances classical music in the digital age with a new Knight Foundation investment

With $10M from Knight, NWS will expand the Knight New Media Center to strengthen the integration of technology and music and boost community engagement.


New World Symphony Announcement

As Miami’s New World Symphony (NWS) launched its 2022–23 season and a new artistic director began his tenure, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced a $10 million investment to help extend the symphony’s Knight New Media Center and its pioneering work in the integration of technology with music performance, education and community engagement.

Knight’s new investment will expand NWS’s transformative work with its fellows, staff and alumni.  Together, they are participating in a unique musical laboratory, enabled by the Knight New Media Center, that is reimagining the future of classical music in a digital world. Additionally, NWS will leverage Knight’s new investment to push the boundaries of artistic expression. 

“For almost twenty years, we’ve sought to make art general in Miami,” said Alberto Ibargüen, Knight Foundation president. “That means sharing music, art and literature that moves us, inspires and includes us all, and helps to build the new Miami. In our increasingly digital society, nobody has done more than New World Symphony to reach that goal of an engaged community.”

Powered by Knight investments and the support of other donors, NWS provides musicians, concert producers and audiences with new models for the way music is taught, presented and experienced. 

“Digital capture, editing, distribution and dialogue are changing the imaginations of musicians and the sensory experience of audiences,” said NWS president and CEO Howard Herring. “T, We are reimagining our work in the service of classical music. And to mark Knight’s cumulative investments, we are naming our physical and virtual platforms the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Stage. From our earliest days, Knight has been both a creative thought partner and an investor in our efforts.”

Stéphane Denève succeeds Michael Tilson Thomas in the role of artistic director, becoming the second person to hold the position in the orchestra’s 35-year history.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

As social investors, the Knight Foundation supports democracy by funding free expression and journalism, arts and culture in community, research in areas of media and democracy, and in the success of American cities and towns where the Knight brothers once published newspapers. Learn more at and follow @knightfdn on social media. 

About New World Symphony

The New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy, prepares graduates of music programs for leadership roles in professional orchestras and ensembles. In the 35 years since its co-founding by artistic director laureate Michael Tilson Thomas and Lin and Ted Arison, NWS has helped launch the careers of more than 1,200 alumni worldwide. A laboratory for the way music is taught, presented and experienced, the New World Symphony consists of young musicians who are granted fellowships lasting up to three years. The fellowship program offers in-depth exposure to traditional and modern repertoire, professional development training and personalized experiences working with leading guest conductors, soloists and visiting faculty. Relationships with these artists are extended through NWS’s extensive distance learning via the internet. NWS Fellows take advantage of the innovative performance facilities and state-of-the art practice and ensemble rooms of the Frank Gehry–designed New World Center, the campus of the New World Symphony. Learn more at   

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