In a letter to music director, Ludovic Morlot, Swift wrote that the Seattle Symphony's Grammy-winning recording of John Luther Adams' Become Ocean inspired her donation. According to the press release sent out this morning, Swift "praised the beauty of the composition, the musicianship of the orchestra and reminisced about going to hear her local symphony with her grandmother."
Morlot said he was "thrilled" that Swift enjoyed the piece and "thankful" that she chose to support the musicians.
Swift's gift has been allocated to the Link Up: Seattle Symphony program, which teaches third through fifth graders about various compositions and culminates in a kind of pro-am performance where the kids play alongside the orchestra. The money will also go to the musicians’ pension fund.
In October of this year, the pop star donated the same amount of money to her backup dancer, Toshi Davidson, whose child was sick with cancer. Later on in July, Swift donated another 50 grand to an 11-year-old, Naomi Oakes, who was diagnosed with leukemia. Last year, in an event fans dubbed "Swiftmas," Swift "Tay-lurked" some of her fans on social media and then presented them with gifts based on her perception of what they liked.
Swift's $$$ comes only two weeks after the symphony decided to release Giya Kancheli's powerful composition "Nu.Mu.Zu." for free, in honor of terror victims. Go listen to that now. And if you haven't listened to Become Ocean, do yourself a favor a check it out. Our own Christopher Frizzelle claims he listened to the Grammy-winning composition "probably 300 times" while working on his feature about Lolita, a killer whale who's been imprisoned in a small tank for the last 45 years.