$23 Million Gift Will Enable Vilar Global Fellows Program to Attract Promising Young Talent from Around the World to Study and Perform in NYC New York University President L. Jay Oliva and philanthropist Alberto W. Vilar, president and founder of Amerindo Investment Advisors Inc., today announced the establishment of an international competitive academic scholarship program for performing artists that will be modeled on the Rhodes scholarship program. The Alberto Vilar Global Fellows Program will bring some of the most talented young artists from colleges and universities around the world for two years of study at NYU and performances in New York City. The first group of six scholars will start in the fall of 2002.
Mr. Vilar has pledged $23.4 million to fund the program. His gift will provide tuition, housing, and travel funds for those selected. By 2005, some 20 Vilar Fellows will be studying at NYU each year. Vilar Fellows will work towards a Master of Music, Master of Art, Master of Fine Arts, or an Advanced Certificate.
Dr. Oliva said, “New York is the capital of the world. Its prominence as the locus of culture and the arts is unassailable.
“There can be no more fitting home for this program than this city and this University. New York is the place where talent comes when it wants to be in the company of the best, and NYU has long been known as a place that trains and cultivates this talent.
“This is the right program at the right time in the right city and at the right university. We are very honored to be the stewards of the Vilar Global Fellows Program, and we are grateful to Mr. Vilar for his foresight and generosity. Speaking personally, I am proud that when I step down from the presidency of this great University next spring, I will still be associated with NYU through my leadership of this extraordinarily valuable educational program — one which will identify the classical performing arts’ most talented college and university graduates and draw them to one place.”
“I envision a future in which the classical performing arts reach new heights of greatness and I have made it my personal mission to ensure that this vision becomes reality. Crucial to the development of the arts is the nurturing of its next generation of leaders, as well as its artists,” said Mr. Vilar. “New York City is one of the cultural capitals of the world, and NYU is one of the finest educational institutions anywhere. I am thrilled to partner with this prestigious university to prepare for a future filled with exquisite performances held in venues run by individuals expertly schooled in the arts.
“Moreover, as with every gift I give, it is my hope that through the example of private philanthropy others will be inspired to give gifts in support of the arts, education, healthcare, and other equally worthwhile causes,” added Mr. Vilar.
Candidates for the Vilar Fellowships can apply in the following areas of the performing arts: acting, dance, directing/design, instrumental performance, musical composition, vocal performance, writing, and cross-disciplinary performance (a combination of at least two of the previous categories, or work that does not correspond to any of the categories.
Candidates for the program must complete sufficient undergraduate education or conservatory training in order to judge their potential to benefit from the fellowship. In applying, candidates must indicate the faculty or NYU program with which they want to study. Each application will be reviewed by appropriate academic departments at NYU.
Following a preliminary application and screening process, some 10 to 15 top candidates from each region of the world Northeastern North America, Southeastern North America, Midwestern North America, Western North America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe (all in 2002), Asia (in 2003), South/Central America (in 2003), Africa (in 2004), and the Middle East/Mediterranean (in 2004) will be invited to interview with and audition for Regional Selection Committees. Each Regional Selection Committee will be comprised of eight to ten distinguished individuals with broad experience in and knowledge of the performing arts. Ultimately, each Regional Selection Committee will recommend two finalists.
All the finalists will be invited to NYU in the spring of the year in which they apply for several days of interviews and auditions, during which they will be evaluated by the Vilar Fellows International Selection Committee. The International Committee, already in formation, will include: Alberto Vilar (co-Chair); Dr. L. Jay Oliva (co-Chair and Executive Director-designate of the Vilar Global Fellows Program); Beverly Sills, chairwoman of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; and philanthropist Baroness Mariuccia Zerilli-Marimò of Italy. Additional members of the International Committee are expected to be announced in the near future.
New York University, which was established in 1831, is one of the largest and most prestigious private research universities in the U.S. It has more international students than any other U.S. college or university. Through its 13 schools and colleges, NYU conducts research and provides education in the arts and sciences, law, medicine, dentistry, education, nursing, studio art, business, social work, the cinematic and performing arts, public administration and policy, and continuing studies, among other areas. Its performance, cinema and music programs in its Tisch School of the Arts, its Steinhardt School of Education, and its Faculty of Arts and Science are internationally renowned.