RICHARD W. COLBURN
OF THE NEGAUNEE FOUNDATION
Alice S. Pfaelzer Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts
Richard W. Colburn spent his early years on Chicago’s North Shore in an era when public schools offered music education. After several years studying cello, Richard quit, mainly because of residual shoulder problems from a near-fatal attack of polio at the age of 8.
He later learned liberal thought and activism at Antioch College. Since the 70s, he has managed businesses that primarily sell pieces of aluminum and stainless steel to companies that make things with them.
Richard’s early exposure to music, reinforced by much music being played in his home, led to an appreciation of most forms of music and a strong belief in music education for everyone. In 1987, Richard benefitted from an investment that permitted the creation of The Negaunee Foundation, his vehicle for supporting classical music education and performance to the highest standards of excellence, primarily in the Chicago area.
Richard currently serves on the boards of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Ravinia Festival and WTTW, as well as the Colburn School in Los Angeles and The Field Museum of Natural History.