Longtime friends of Juilliard Bruce Kovner, who has been the chairman of Juilliard’s Board of Trustees since 2001, and his wife, Suzie Kovner, a founding member of the Drama Council, received honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees at the 2014 Juilliard Commencement. The Kovners’ involvement with the School has ranged from the donation of an extraordinary manuscript collection to gifts that helped establish the Historical Performance program, and a challenge grant for the endowment of the Drama Division Master of Fine Arts program; and, most recently, the Kovner Fellows program, which was announced in fall 2013. When fully implemented, the Fellows Program will provide enhanced programmatic content and scholarship support covering the full estimated cost of attendance for approximately 50 outstanding classical music students.
Bruce Kovner received his B.A. from Harvard College and later studied at the John F. Kennedy School of Government. He founded Caxton Associates, a diversified trading company, in 1983 and served as its chairman until his retirement, in 2011. A year later, he established Caxton Alternative Management LP to manage his investment, trading, and business activities. He is the vice chairman of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and also serves on the boards of the Metropolitan Opera, The Royal Shakespeare Company, the American Enterprise Institute, and Synta Pharmaceuticals.
Suzie Kovner, who received her bachelor’s degree from Colgate University, is a trustee of Carnegie Hall and co-chairs the advocacy group for Ensemble ACJW. She is also on the board of the American Associates of the National Theatre of Great Britain and a member-at-large of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center’s Administrative Board.
The couple’s Kovner Foundation makes grants in the principal areas of education reform and innovation, personal liberty, and to institutions that are exemplars of the highest levels of creativity in the performing arts in the United States and around the world.