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Announcing The Michael and Sonja Koerner Fund for Classical Programming

Announcing The Michael and Sonja Koerner Fund for Classical Programming

Published on March 4, 2022

Visionary philanthropists Michael and Sonja Koerner have invested $10 million to create The Michael and Sonja Koerner Fund for Classical Programming, securing the future of classical music of the highest standards presented at Koerner Hall and other performance venues at The Royal Conservatory.

Lang Lang performing at Koerner Hall

The Royal Conservatory’s mission to develop future generations of musicians and to bring the world’s greatest performers to Toronto has been made possible due, in large part, to the generosity of these longstanding supporters. Michael and Sonja Koerner have been key drivers of the RCM’s transformation over the last two decades and integral to the promotion of the arts and music education across Canada and around the world.

“Michael and Sonja believe in the power of the arts to transform individual lives and by extension, entire societies. They believe that participation in music and the arts engages what are arguably humankind’s three most essential characteristics: curiosity, emotion and imagination,” said Dr. Peter Simon, Michael and Sonja Koerner President & CEO of The Royal Conservatory. “They have made life richer, more engaging and more meaningful for millions of people.”

This investment preserves the future of classical music at the RCM by creating a source of funding available to support classical performance and training.

As supporters of every fundraising campaign the Conservatory has undertaken for nearly the past 20 years, the Koerner family has consistently raised the sights of other donors and helped to elevate the visibility of the Conservatory as an internationally acclaimed music education and arts institution.

A Legacy of Support

The naming of Michael and Sonja Koerner Hall, the Michael and Sonja Koerner President & CEO, support of Glenn Gould School students through The Michael and Sonja Koerner Scholarships, the donation of The Michael and Sonja Koerner Early Instrument Collection, the naming of The Alexandra Koerner Yeo Cello Program and Michael Koerner’s role as the Conservatory’s first Chancellor have all underscored the Koerner family’s dedication to The Royal Conservatory and their commitment to its progression and sustainability.

In this renewed era of funding cuts and challenges faced by the performing arts sector as a result of the Covid pandemic, the significance of arts-minded philanthropy cannot be underemphasized. Michael and Sonja Koerner’s support of The Royal Conservatory has left an indelible mark on the institution, allowing it to strengthen key program areas and to pursue bold new initiatives.

The Royal Conservatory is forever indebted to the Koerner family for their ongoing and visionary support that has allowed the institution to play an expanding role in music education and performance, not only in Canada, but around the world.