The Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra made the most of the opportunity to appear, for the first time in its 90 years of existence, on the world’s most prestigious classical music scene, by touring the USA in October 2014.
From an artistic standpoint, the successful tour of four major American cities (New York, Chicago, Washington D.C. and Cleveland) brought very important experience and prestige, which has considerably increased the orchestra’s chances of being invited to perform in the most renowned concert halls in Europe and Asia in the future. This tour essentially laid the cornerstone for the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra’s future appearances on the global music stage.
In addition to the reputation the orchestra undoubtedly earned by touring the USA, this project raised another very important issue for the Serbian culture – public private partnership in financing institutions. Over the past decade, the Belgrade Philharmonic Foundation has gained very significant experience in stimulating the private sector to support the work of institutions, which was also affirmed by the fact that the costs of implementing the ambitious project of touring the USA were largely covered by private donations. Accordingly, the tour was a good opportunity to remember the period of our history when eminent Serbian benefactors established charitable trusts, which are still used by educational and cultural institutions today.
To that end, The American Friends of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra was registered in New York in 2012, with the idea to use the tour as the beginning of fundraising efforts in the USA. In terms of its structure and legal status, the American foundation does not differ from the foundations of the leading American orchestras, entitling U.S. citizens to tax exemptions when they donate to the Belgrade Philharmonic.