About Us

Who we are

A nonprofit founded in 1985, we support the creation, performance, and study of music through awards, scholarships, grants, and commissions.

Support for the Foundation comes primarily from BMI- affiliated songwriters, composers, and publishers, BMI employees, and members of the public with a special interest in music. Many donors have chosen to contribute to the Foundation in the spirit of “giving back” to the field of music, which they feel has been generous to them. Because all members of the Foundation's staff and the distinguished artistic advisors serve without compensation, over 91% of all donations and investment income is available for charitable grants. Contributions to the Foundation are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law.

Throughout the year, the Foundation works to administer various scholarship competitions, awards, fellowships and commissions. The final selections for these programs are entrusted to panels made up of some of the world's most distinguished artists and musicians, all of whom volunteer their time and knowledge. The focus of these programs is on American music; however, there are several opportunities open to international students.

The Foundation also awards grants on an annual basis to nonprofit music and arts organizations around the country. The Foundation's artistic advisors review and make recommendations for these awards, which range from the support of classical music groups specializing in contemporary works, to musical theatre programs for inner-city youth, to programs designed to preserve and continue such indigenous American music as jazz and blues.

Our Leadership

Composed of various music publishing and entertainment executives and musicians, our leadership team provides creative and educational opportunities to emerging talent, established artists, and other nonprofit organizations that share our commitment to new American music.

Mike O’Neill photoMike O’NeillHonorary Chair

Board of Trustees

Deirdre Chadwick photoDeirdre ChadwickPresident
Samantha Cox photoSamantha CoxVice President
Clay Bradley photoClay Bradley
Dan Coleman photoDan ColemanTreasurer
Corey Field photoCorey Field
Luciana Souza photoLuciana Souza
Pamela Williams photoPamela Williams

Board of Advisors

David F. Bills photoDavid F. Bills
Evelyn Buckstein photoEvelyn Buckstein
Anne Cecere photoAnne Cecere
Pat Cook photoPat Cook
Richard Garza photoRichard Garza


Theodora Zavin photoTheodora ZavinFounding President
(In Memoriam)
Ralph N. Jackson photoRalph N. JacksonPresident Emeritus

Artistic Consultants

Our distinguished artistic consultants are award-winning musicians and music industry executives, who work in collaboration with our staff to award our New Music Grants to music and arts nonprofit organizations throughout the country.

  • Robbin Ahrold
  • Martin Bandier
  • Caroline Bienstock
  • Paquito D’Rivera
  • Charles Fox
  • Lance Freed
  • Neil J. Gillis
  • Jeffrey L. Graubart
  • Aaron Jay Kernis
  • Cindy McTee
  • Nari Matsuura
  • Ralph Peer II
  • Mike Post
  • Joan Tower
  • Troy Tomlinson
  • Jenny Undercofler
  • W. G. Snuffy Walden
  • Maury Yeston
  • Nina Young
  • Ellen Taaffe Zwilich

Available Downloads