(L-R): Consul General Jarosław Łasiński, PMC Director Marek Zebrowski, Dianne and Tad Taube, Executive Director Shana Penn of Taube Philanthropies, and Thornton Dean Robert Cutietta.
Shown at the California Dreamin’: Taube Celebration at USC on March 26, 2022

In late 2019, the Polish Music Center received a transformational $2 million gift from Dianne and Tad Taube of Taube Philanthropies, to support the digitization of the Center’s most fragile and important rare archival materials. However, shortly after the gift was transferred the University, and the world, was shut down by the Covid-19 pandemic. As archival organizing and digitizing is very much hands-on work requiring in-person staff, the realization of this gift was unfortunately put on hold.

With the pandemic in its waning stages, however, we thankfully have been able to resume our full schedule of archival work. And with the return of live music on campus, we were finally able to celebrate the Taube gift officially at a special event held on March 26, 2022. The event began with a much-anticipated concert, featuring premieres of new works as well as music from the PMC’s Archive, performed by the Cracow Duo with students from the Thornton School of Music. The celebration culminated with an elegant reception filled with devoted members of the PMC community, where representatives of the Polish government and top USC officials honored the Taubes and their vision for the PMC’s digital future.

(L-R): Cracow Duo’s Jan Kalinowski and Marek Szlezer are joined onstage at Newman Recital Hall by composer Marcel Chyrzyński and Thornton students Espen Aas and Zoe Beyler. Chyrzyński’s work Mojave (2019), which was inspired by his previous time in Southern California during the 2017 Paderewski Lecture-Recital, was given its world premiere during the concert.

The Taube’s transformational gift is a crucial step towards a full digitization of our precious Archival Collections. In honor of their generosity and vision, these digitized collections will henceforth be named The Dianne and Tad Taube Polish Music Center Digital Archives at the USC Thornton School of Music, and will be accessible online thanks to a collaboration with the USC Digital Libraries. As of July 27, this landmark Digital Archive has its first entry—the PMC’s Bronislaw Kaper Collection—and is now available for viewing at digitallibrary.usc.edu.

Our foundational Manuscript Collection, which was initiated by a gift from Witold Lutosławski in 1984 and established the PMC as a world renowned location for archival study, is next in line for digitization. Stay tuned!

[Photo credit: Alex Yang Photography]