Major gift to elevate Lied Center's classical offerings

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Major gift to elevate Lied Center’s classical offerings

A major gift to the Lied Center for Performing Arts was announced March 30 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and was hailed as being transformative for the future of live classical music programming in Lincoln. The gift will enable the Lied Center to showcase some of the most accomplished and sought-after classical music artists and performance companies in the world.

Anabeth Hormel Cox of Lincoln announced her outright and planned gifts that establish a fund at the University of Nebraska Foundation to benefit the Lied Center’s public offerings of classical music. At the donor’s request, the donation amount was not disclosed.

“My gift is intended to perpetuate the contribution the Lied Center makes to the culture of our region,” Hormel Cox said prior to the Lied Center celebration.

Lied Center Executive Director Bill Stephan said the support of people such as Hormel Cox allows the university to be an international leader in presenting the performing arts.

“We are so grateful for Anabeth’s gift, which will enable us to present artists we have only been able to dream about bringing to our venue in the past,” Stephan said. “Beyond our stage, her support will enrich the artistic education of thousands of young people in Nebraska classrooms. This is a transformative gift, one that will enhance the cultural fabric of Nebraska for generations.”

Nebraskans and others in the region won’t need to travel to New York, Los Angeles or other major cities to see the world’s leading orchestras, such as the Berlin Philharmonic or Academy of St. Martin in the Fields and others, Lied Center Artistic Director Ann Chang said.

“These renowned organizations will be performing on the Nebraska campus at the Lied Center,” Chang said. “With Anabeth’s incredible generosity, we also will be able to program a greater number of iconic classical soloists, including András Schiff, Murray Perahia, Daniel Barenboim and others.”

Following the gift announcement, Stephan and Chang revealed the 2017-18 season of Lied Center classical artists, which includes:

  • Oct. 12: Orpheus Chamber Orchestra with Andre Watts

  • Oct. 24: 2017 Van Cliburn gold medalist

  • Feb. 21, 2018: Berlin Philharmonic Piano Quartet

  • March 27, 2018: Olga Kern, piano

  • April 17, 2018: A Celebration of Philip Glass

  • April 24, 2018: Vadym Kholodenko, piano

Hormel Cox, 77, said music is a central part of her life. She has supported various arts organizations within the community and enjoys spending time with her three daughters and nine grandchildren.

She grew up in McCook. Her parents, Thalma Lowe Hormel and Benjamin Franklin Hormel Jr., played a major role in the love she and her sister, MarySue, have for music. Her father played the saxophone, and one day as a surprise to his family he purchased a piano for them to enjoy. He delighted in learning to play the piano together with his daughters.

She and her husband, Lawrence Frazier, moved to Lincoln in 1969, where they raised their family. Frazier worked at Farmers Mutual of Nebraska as corporate counsel and then president and CEO. He died in 1998.

She later married attorney Edwin “Ted” Cox, an accomplished musician and authority on classical and New Age music who wrote reviews and articles on those genres. Before moving to Lincoln, he enjoyed a long legal career in New York City and Washington, D.C., including service in President George H.W. Bush’s administration. He was an active member of Lincoln’s music and arts community, working for Nebraska Public Radio and serving two terms on the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra board of directors. He died unexpectedly in 2015.

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