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Music Institute of Chicago Gala Benefit - May 20, 2024


The Four Seasons Chicago
120 East Delaware Place, Chicago, IL, 60611
Cocktail attire

Join the Music Institute of Chicago for an inspiring evening in support of artistically excellent, accessible music education for all. The evening begins with a private cocktail reception. An elegant dinner follows, peppered by once-in-a-lifetime performances from Dushkin Award honoree Marcus Roberts and Music Institute students and faculty and an award ceremony for the 2024 Honorees, all celebrating the Music Institute's vision of cultivating a lifelong relationship with music for everyone.

Proceeds from the annual Gala support excellence in teaching at MIC, upholding a standard and tradition centuries in the making.  The Gala also provides the single largest source of funds for financial aid and scholarships, tuition-free community engagement, and neighborhood-based service activities. We hope you’ll help us again to positively impact thousands of musicians and music lovers of all ages and backgrounds from nearly 100 Illinois communities and scores of Chicago neighborhoods.

Sponsorships & Ticket Reservations   Make a donation

Pelious String Quartet-Academy at the 2023 Gala


John and Fran Edwardson
Marcus Roberts, piano
Erica Anderson, oboe

John and Fran Edwardson
Cultural Visionary Award for Chicago

Marcus Roberts
David and Dorothy Dushkin Award 

Erica Anderson
Richard D. Colburn Award
for Teaching Excellence 

More about the Cultural Visionary Award

Founded in 2010, the Cultural Visionary Award for Chicago is awarded by the Music Institute to individuals who possess the qualities that six generations of the city's forebears have successfully used to advance the civic and cultural presence of Chicago: a commitment to improving the quality of life for all citizens; a commitment to using the "power" of public and private partnership to expand access to diverse cultural offerings for all citizens; a commitment to advancing a strong spirit of philanthropy to build a sense of ownership and pride in our city, and; a commitment to preparing succeeding generations of citizens to continue Chicago's rich legacy of civic and cultural pride.

2024 Cultural Visionary Award for Chicago - Fran and John Edwardson

John and Fran Edwardson The Cultural Visionary Award for Chicago recognizes individuals who make an indelible impact on the community through their philanthropic, civic, and cultural leadership. This year’s honorees, Fran and John Edwardson, are longtime supporters of the Music Institute and have made significant contributions in Chicago, Florida, and internationally. The non-profit organizations where John and Fran Edwardson currently are investing their time and support include Advance Illinois, the American Red Cross, Boca Grande Health Clinic Foundation, Greater Chicago Food Depository, Habitat for Humanity, The Island School Foundation, Lincoln Park Zoo, Music Institute of Chicago, Rush University Medical Center, the University of Chicago, Writers Theatre, and WTTW.   They are especially proud of the John A. Edwardson Social New Venture Challenge, an annual competition at UChicago’s Booth School of Business, which recognizes innovative businesses that solve social challenges around the world.

John is a veteran businessman and the retired chairman and CEO of CDW Corporation.  He currently chairs the Board of Advance Illinois, an education advocacy organization, and serves on the boards of several privately-owned businesses. Fran is the retired CEO of the American Red Cross of Chicago and Northern Illinois, which she joined following a long career in the legal field.  She currently serves on the Boards of Directors of JB Hunt Transport Services, Inc. and Duluth Holdings Inc., and chairs the Board of Lincoln Park Zoo. 

John and Fran reside in Winnetka, IL and Boca Grande, FL.  They  have five children and seven grandchildren. 

Past Cultural Visonary Award Recipients

2023 Karen Gray-Krehbiel and John Krehbiel
2022 Nancy and Scott Santi
2021  Linda and Bill Gantz
2020  Helen Zell
2019  Caryn and King Harris
2018  Frederick H. Waddell
2017  Susan and Richard (in memory) Kiphart
2016  Lois M. and Harrison I. Steans
2015  Mary B. Galvin
2014  Alexandra and John Nichols
2013  Jim and Kay Mabie
2012  Marilynn B. Alsdorf
2011  Sandra and Jack Guthman
2010  John H. Bryan, Joan W. Harris and Cindy Pritzker



More about the Dushkin Award

The Dushkin Award was established in 1985 to honor the memory of the Music Institute's founders, Dorothy and David Dushkin. This internationally-recognized award has been presented to some of the most revered and accomplished musical artists and composers of our time, all of who have a deeply rooted passion for music education.


Marcus Roberts  This year’s Dushkin Award recipient, modern jazz pianist/composer Marcus Roberts is a highly acclaimed
  modern jazz pianist, composer, and educator who has graced the Music Institute of Chicago’s Nichols Concert
  Hall stage with the Marcus Roberts Trio for years. He is known for his ability to blend jazz and classical idioms
  into something wholly new and his unique approach to jazz trio performance, which relies on all musicians
  sharing equally in shaping the direction of the music by using a system of musical cues and flexible forms to
  change its tempo, mood, texture, or form. He is the founder of the Modern Jazz Generation, a multi-
  generational ensemble that is the realization of his long-standing dedication to training and mentoring younger jazz musicians. Roberts is also an accomplished composer who has been commissioned by Chamber Music America, Jazz at Lincoln Center, ASCAP, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and the Savannah Music Festival. He is an associate professor of music at the School of Music at Florida State University and holds an honorary doctor of music degree from The Juilliard School.

Past DUSHKIN Award Recipients

2023 Marin Alsop
2022 Hilary Hahn
2021 Zubin Mehta
2020 Evgeny Kissin
2019 Wynton Marsalis
2018  Pinchas Zukerman
2017  Rachel Barton Pine
2016  Joshua Bell
2015  Deborah Rutter
2014  André Previn
2013  Lang Lang
2012  Stephen Sondheim
2011  Riccardo Muti
2010  Yo-Yo Ma
2009  James Conlon
2008  Steve Robinson & Bill McGlaughlin
2007  Leon Fleisher
2006  Midori
2005  William Mason
2004  Renée Fleming
2003  Sir Andrew Davis
2002  Mstislav Rostropovich
2001  Isaac Stern
2000  Christoph Eschenbach
1999  Pierre Boulez
1998  Zarin Mehta
1997  Samuel Ramey
1996  William Warfield
1995  Placido Domingo
1994  Henry Fogel, Daniel Barenboim (Honored Guest)
1993  Bruno Bartoletti
1992  Margaret Hillis
1993  Mr. & Mrs. William A. Boone
1990  Sherrill Milnes
1989  Sir Georg and Lady Solti
1987  Ardis Krainik
1986  Louis Sudler, Sr.
1985  Mr. & Mrs. Kenneth F. Montgomery

More about the Richard D. Colburn Award for Teaching Excellence

Founded in 2014, the Richard D. Colburn Award for Teaching Excellence is presented to faculty members of the Music Institute of Chicago who exemplify the high standard of excellence set by Richard D. Colburn in his many musical endeavors. The Music Institute values great teaching above all, and takes great pride in its faculty's ability to teach not only art and technique but to create a forum for joyful playing and collaboration with other musicians. We applaud our faculty for sharing their gifts with the wider community.


Erica Anderson  The Music Institute presents the Richard D. Colburn Award for Teaching Excellence to faculty members who
  exemplify the high standard of excellence set by Richard D. Colburn in his many musical endeavors. This year’s
  honoree, Erica Anderson, is head of the Music Institute’s Woodwinds, Brass, and Percussion Department and has
  served on the oboe faculty for nearly 25 years. She has a bachelor of music degree from Eastman School of Music
  and a master of music degree from DePaul University, both in oboe performance. She is a member of Music  
  Institute ensemble-in-residence Quintet Attacca and Chicago Philharmonic and has performed with numerous orchestras and ensembles including the Joffrey Ballet, Chicago Lyric Opera, Music of the Baroque, and Ravinia Festival Orchestra. She is an adjunct faculty member at Carthage College.


2023 Barbara Ann Martin, voice faculty
2022  Dr. Tanya L. Carey, cello faculty
2021  Nina and Daniel Wallenberg, cello faculty (Nina), Director MIC Chorale and musicianship faculty (Daniel)
2020  Arlene Stokman and Abraham Stokman, piano faculty
2019  Susan Charles, voice faculty
2018  Stanley Davis, clarinet and saxophone faculty
2017  Elaine Felder, MIC Piano Department Chair, piano and chamber music faculty
2016  Roland and Almita Vamos, violin and viola faculty
2015  Gilda Barston, Dean Emeritus, cello faculty
2014  Claire Aebersold Neiweem and Ralph Neiweem, piano and chamber music faculty, Artists in Residence



Gala Leadership


Chair emerita

Alexandra C. Nichols

Honorary Chairs

Karen Z. Gray-Krehbiel and John Krehbiel, Jr.
Scott and Nancy Santi


Carlos R. Cardenas
Courtney Holohan and Wesley Mueller
David and Eileen Zampa
Tao Zhu and Weihua Ye

Sponsorship Opportunities

Support the 2024 Gala Benefit!

Consider one of four sponsorship levels, purchase individual tickets ($750), or make a donation. Contributions of all sizes are meaningful and help to ensure that the Music Institute of Chicago is able to deliver high-quality music education now, and well into the future.

Support the 2024 Gala Benefit Today!

2023 Music Institute of Chicago Gala

Patron $10,000

  • Gala Committee listing on the invitation
  • Preferred table for up to ten guests
  • Half page Gala program book salute ad
  • Recognition on the MIC website and day of event signage

Champion $15,000

  • Gala Committee listing on the invitation
  • Priority table for up to ten guests
  • Full page Gala program book salute ad 
  • Logo recognition on the MIC website and day of event signage

Benefactor $25,000 

  • Host Committee listing on the invitation
  • Prime table for up to ten guests
  • Full page Gala program book salute ad
  • Featured recognition on Gala print and digital media (press release, program book, digital event media, event signage, MIC website, and social media)

Grand Benefactor $50,000 

  •  Host Committee listing on the invitation
  •  Premiere table for up to ten guests
  •  Full page Gala program book salute ad (premium positioning: e.g. inside front or back cover)
  •  Featured recognition on Gala print and digital media (press release, program book, digital event media, event signage, MIC website, and social media)
  •  Private recital by an MIC Academy student (to be scheduled at a mutually agreeable time)

Thanks to our Sponsors

Patron of the arts - $100,000

Edwardson Family Foundation


Grand Benefactor - $50,000

John D. and Alexandra* C. Nichols Family Foundation


Benefactor $25,000

Karen Z. Gray-Krehbiel and John H. Krehbiel Jr
Courtney Holohan* and Wesley Mueller
Northern Trust
Mr. and Mrs. Patrick G. Ryan
Barbara Speer and Christopher Noon
Scott* and Areta Verschoor and KPMG
David* and Eileen Zampa and Sidley Austin, LLP

2024 MIC Gala Benefit Sponsor Logos

Patron - $10,000

Anonymous Gifts
Rita and John Canning 
Carlos R. Cardenas* and Wintrust Commercial Banking
The Crown Family
Linda and Bill Gantz
Hans* and Denitta Germann
Dan* and Yoo Mi Hahn
Harris Family Foundation
J. Thomas Hurvis and Ann Andersen
Yana Nedvetsky* and Axel Vargas 
Cathy and Bill Osborn
Renée Parquette*
Tim Patenode* and Judy Royal
Vikram K. Raghavan* and Shruthi Atmaram
Ravinia Festival Association
Scott and Nancy Santi
Liz Stiffel
Lee Anne* and Richard Stoddart
Jim Stone*
Charles A. Tribbett III & Lisa Tribbett and Russell Reynolds Associates
Miles D. White
Zhu* Family Fund


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                * MIC Trustee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             (as of 4/8/2024)