About The Gilmore
In 1989, trustees of the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation of Kalamazoo, Michigan, announced plans to honor the memory of Irving S. Gilmore, a local businessman and philanthropist, by creating some of the most unique and significant awards for pianists anywhere in the world and a biennial piano festival to celebrate keyboard music.
Mission of The Gilmore
The mission of the Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival is to promote and develop world-class keyboard musical experiences that inspire present and future artists and audiences. We do this by:
- Identifying exceptional keyboard artists through a noncompetitive process and then providing significant support to enhance their careers
- Presenting world-class music festivals featuring the finest international keyboard artists
- Providing an outstanding keyboard educational program
- Supporting the creation of keyboard music
History of The Gilmore
The Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival and Awards are the legacy of Irving S. Gilmore, a Kalamazoo businessman and philanthropist whose devotion to keyboard music and support for struggling musicians inspired its creation. Now in its 25th year, the biennial Festival is internationally recognized as America’s most prestigious piano music festival, while the highly regarded Gilmore Artist Award is often referred to as music’s answer to the MacArthur Foundation “genius grants.”
The first Festival was presented in 1991 – the same year that the first Gilmore Artist Award was made. The next Gilmore International Keyboard Festival is scheduled for April 29 – May 14, 2016, and the next Gilmore Artist will be named in 2018.
Daniel Gustin has served as Director of The Gilmore since 2000. Past directors have included Irma Vallecillo, David Hook, and David Pocock.
From its inception, The Gilmore has enjoyed the broad support of individuals, foundations and businesses throughout West Michigan. The Gilmore is also supported by the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs as well as by the National Endowment for the Arts. The Gilmore is an independent 501(c)(3) corporation governed by an independent Board of Trustees.