The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra a $200,000 grant to fund preservation of historically-important recordings. Those recordings will be archived at Minnesota Public Radio.
The three-year grant will fund the digital preservation of 400 of the most vulnerable and rare of the 1,000 plus recordings of live concerts of the SPCO made by Minnesota Public Radio since 1969. Recordings from certain periods of time are particularly vulnerable because of the instability of the materials used for audio recordings at the time.
Some of those recordings include appearances by Aaron Copland, John Cage, Neville Marriner, Isaac Stern, Michael Tilson Thomas and Pinchas Zukerman. Others include world premieres of works commissioned by the SPCO, not to be found elsewhere.
This is the second time this year the Mellon Foundation has given a major grant to the SPCO. In July, the SPCO announced it had received a separate $1 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for artistic and digital media initiatives.