Founder of CTBC Financial Holding Co. Ltd., Dr. Jeffrey L.S. Koo’s widow Mrs. Mitzi Koo, is continuing the work of her late husband to strengthen relationships around the world through patronage of the arts. Since 1993, she has provided scholarships for The Juilliard School to foster outstanding students and to develop international talent. Her commitment has also increased Taiwan’s visibility on the global stage. The Juilliard School, in recognition of Mrs. Koo’s contribution, issued a special Certificate of Appreciation last month. More significantly, she is the first Taiwanese to be honored with this recognition by The Juilliard School.
Mrs. Koo, who loves music from an early age, has been devoted to music for as long as she can remember. In 1993, she founded The Mitzi Foundation, to provide scholarships every year to outstanding students at The Juilliard School. This year marks the 25th year of her unwavering commitment. Many students awarded the scholarship, have later blossomed in international music circles. Among alumni are famed American tenor vocalist Anthony Dean Griffey, who was the first recipient, Harpist Jessica Zhou, Violinist Michael Larco, and the English horn musician Andrea Overturf, just to name a few. These musicians benefited from the support received from the Mitzi Foundation to hone and expand on their musical abilities.
In recent years, Mrs. Koo began inviting recipients of the Mitzi Foundation scholarship to perform in Taiwan. While local audiences benefited from the opportunity to enjoy world-class artistic performances, musicians also benefited from sharing what they see and hear on their travels to their teachers and classmates back home in the United States. Mrs. Koo’s practical and spirited approach to nurturing international musicians is indeed remarkable.
Baritone vocalist Jacob Scharfman, well known for his “irresistible”, “beautiful and mellow” voice, stated during his 2017 visit, how grateful he will always be to Mrs. Koo for her patronage. Not only did he take away an excellent impression of Taiwan, his experience here is valuable to his continuous training.
CTBC Financial Holding Co. Ltd., has hosted the annual “CTBC Musical Feast” every December. Visiting Julliard School alumni included Pianist Evan Shinners, clarinet and saxophone musician Zachary Hann, French horn musician Kaitlyn Resler, and classical trumpet musician Tristan Clarke, among others.