Our History

Created by musicians,
for musicians.

Musicians Foundation was incorporated in 1914 by The Bohemians, a New York-based musicians club whose membership has included renowned names in the music industry throughout its 100+ year history.

Forward-thinking and philanthropic, the original Bohemians decided that rather than invest in a permanent clubhouse of their own, they would direct their formidable fundraising abilities toward creating and endowing an organization “to provide voluntary aid and assistance to professional musicians and their families in case of need.”

The Bohemians set to work making their altruistic vision a reality, drawing on the extraordinary talents and connections of their members. An early benefit concert, described by Bohemians historian H.E. Krehbiel as “the most sensational incident of the 1913 musical season,” featured Pablo Casals, Max Liebling, and Jan Paderewski. Charles Steinway spoke on behalf of the foundation; and the famed opera singer Madame Marcella Sembrich gave a concert for the organization in 1915. Over the years, music’s brightest stars, among them Jascha Heifetz, Yo-Yo Ma, and Isaac Stern, have lent their skills and artistry in support of Musicians Foundation’s important work.

The relationship between The Bohemians and Musicians Foundation remains strong today, with considerable Musicians Foundation funding donated by Bohemian members. In addition to founding what has become the nation’s oldest charitable organization for musicians, The Bohemians forged a culture of compassion, responsibility and respect that continues to define the Foundation’s mission today.

Many of music's stars and supporters have been active with The Bohemians and the Musicians Foundation

  • Leonard Bernstein
  • Enrico Caruso
  • Pablo Casals
  • Walter Damrosch
  • Jascha Heifetz
  • Yo-Yo Ma
  • Elkan Naumberg
  • Jan Paderewski
  • Sergei Prokofiev
  • Sergei Rachmaninoff
  • Arthur Rubinstein
  • Gustav Schirmer
  • Charles Steinway
  • Isaac Stern
  • Arturo Toscanini

Today, Musicians Foundation is proud to have an advisory council consisting of world-renowned musicians Joshua Bell, Misha and Cipa Dichter, Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Jon Manasse, Wynton Marsalis, and Meredith Monk.