The Detroit Symphony Orchestra has announced a $2.9 million gift from the estate of Clyde and Helen Wu to help sustain music education programs provided through the Wu Family Academy for Learning & Engagement.
The second-largest gift in the orchestra's 129-year history will be used to expand the academy's live and digital partnerships, hands-on music education, and training programs, including its Civic Youth Ensembles program, which has provided musicians of all ages with a comprehensive music education experience. The bequest boosts the couple's total lifetime giving to DSO to more than $5 million, including a $1.4 million gift made in 2005.
Clyde Wu, who died in October 2015 at the age of 82, served on the orchestra's board of directors and chaired its education committee. An accomplished pianist, Helen Wu preceded her husband in death by three months.
"Clyde and Helen’s love story, which began when a young doctor attended a beautiful and promising pianist's recital in Hong Kong, is reminiscent of how they thought about music education," said DSO president and CEO Anne Parsons. "They believed that both exposure and experiences are necessary to spark the passion for music that leads to transformational impact on the healthy development of young people, both socially and intellectually. Instruments must be held, teams created, and responsibility, discipline, and acumen soar. Thanks to Clyde and Helen's visionary leadership, that is exactly what happens each weekend when hundreds of students gather at the Max to participate in our music training programs."