What's astonishing, as one sits in the large studio of her home in La Canada Flintridge, listening to her talk about her life in music in a clear, lilting, German-accented speaking soprano, is just how deep Schoenfeld's classical lineage goes. Because of who she is and where she's been, the $10 million she recently donated to the Thornton School is a legacy whose meaning goes far beyond what the sum may buy.
The first $3 million, given last fall, went toward renovating a former USC film school facility as a space for orchestral rehearsals — the Alice and Eleonore Schoenfeld Symphonic Hall, named for Schoenfeld and the cello-playing younger sister who, until her death five years ago, was her housemate, her partner for decades in the Schoenfeld Duo, and her fellow music professor at USC.
An additional $7 million, announced Feb. 21 as the cornerstone gift of a $75-million fundraising campaign for the Thornton School, creates the Alice and Eleonore Schoenfeld Endowed Scholarship Fund, whose earnings will cover tuition and other costs for students studying string instruments.
-- Mike Boehm, Los Angeles Times