Merit’s Gala Set to Honor Yo-Yo Ma & Howard Gottlieb

Merit School of Music, a nationally accredited music school, will honor renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma and Chicago-based philanthropist Howard Gottlieb at its annual gala on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 at the Ritz-Carlton (160 E Pearson). The evening will include a reception at 6:00 pm, followed by dinner and performances at 7:00 pm.

Merit School of Music is dedicated to helping young people transform their lives by removing barriers to a high-quality music education. Nearly 70 percent of students benefit from need-based financial aid and low-cost instrument rental. Furthermore, Merit enables motivated students, regardless of their economic situation, to develop their musical talent and to use music as a foundation for achieving their full potential, with virtually 100 percent of our conservatory graduates going on to conservatory, college, or university. The annual gala is an essential part of the funding of these programs.

To become a Gala 2018 benefactor, click here.

Yo-Yo Ma

The Alice S. Pfaelzer Distinguished Service to the Arts Award


Cellist Yo-Yo Ma’s elaborate career is a testament to his continual search for new ways to communicate with audiences and to his personal desire for artistic growth and renewal. “Yo-Yo Ma has devoted his boundless energy and talent to inspiring and encouraging our young Merit musicians as well as their peers across the city of Chicago,” noted Charles Grode, president and executive director, Merit School of Music. Merit is honored by his friendship and advocacy for our programs.


Howard Gottlieb

Merit School of Music Lifetime of Service Award


Howard Gottlieb is the General Partner of Glen Eagle Partners, Ltd., a family private investment firm. In addition to being a Merit Life Trustee, he is a skilled violinist, having played in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and serving as Trustee to the Ravinia Festival, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. “Howard Gottlieb’s exemplary, generous support of Merit has been central to of our ability to grow as an organization,” said Charles Grode. Due to his immense support, Gottlieb will receive the Merit School of Music Lifetime of Service Award at this year’s Gala.


For up-to-date event information, follow Merit on Twitter at @MeritMusic, and “like” the school on Facebook. For more information about Merit’s Gala, call 312.553.2000 or visit


Read the full press release here

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