Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge

Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge endows a series of concerts with the Pro Arte String Quartet

The success of the summer concerts led to the quartet being invited back for return engagements in 1935 and 1936. Sprague-Coolidge, a distinguished patron of the arts, was a close friend of Mrs. Hoover.

In 1937, Mrs. Coolidge engaged three groups: the Roth Quartet, the Kolisch Quartet, and again the Pro Arte. The concerts prompted the founding of the Friends of Music in the same year. Sponsorship for the concerts was generated from the Friends matching a $500 contribution from Mrs. Coolidge. Working in close conjunction with the Division of Music, the Friends of Music contributed significantly toward the Division’s transformation into the Department of Music a decade later.