Our Mission

The D’Addario Foundation is a non-profit organization that identifies the highest quality, most impactful instrument instruction programs in communities of need and awards grants and product donations to assist their growth and development. We believe in the power of music to unlock creativity, boost self-confidence, and enhance academics. By making music education accessible, we build healthier communities and foster better citizens of the world.

The D’Addario Foundation: An Evolution

  1. D'Addario Foundation 1979


    The Debuts and Premieres Series created and run by Jim and Janet D’Addario is established to showcase young international classical guitar talent.

    “In 1979, we saw that the up-and-coming classical guitarists were struggling to break through and make a living. We decided that we needed to reach out to this ‘next’ generation of professional classical guitarists and help them by supporting their careers and providing them with superior sounding strings.” – Jim D’Addario

  2. D'Addario Foundation 1981


    The D’Addario Foundation for the Performing Arts is officially established to assist with the growth of the Debuts and Premieres Series.  For the next 12 years some of the finest guitar talent of the time including Michael Newman, Laura Oltman, Paco Pena, The Assads, Ben Verdery and many others will be featured in 6 cities throughout the country.

    “In 1981, it became clear that this strategy was sound and we wanted to broaden our commitment and make it more than just a series in New York City.  We decided it would be a good time to create a foundation so that we can expand into more cities and also support other programs.” – Jim D’Addario

  3. D'Addario Foundation 2004


    D’Addario Foundation for the Performing Arts shifts focus away from presenting a series and broadens its mission to support stringed, band and percussion not-for-profit music education programs in under-served areas.  John D’Addario Jr. continues his personal philanthropy in support of music education and leads the foundation as president.

    “ In 1993, we decided to create a formal grant process where we would support classical guitar events and educational programs, and also expand to more deeply include bringing music education to the underprivileged.” – John D’Addario Jr.

  4. D'Addario Foundation 2007


    As school music programs continue to be rapidly cut the D’Addario Foundation for the Performing Arts becomes the D’Addario Music Foundation  and expands its support for not-for-profit music education and instruction programs.

    “Putting aside our commitment to supporting classical guitar, the foundation’s primary mission has evolved over the years as needs have changed throughout the country and the world. Our primary focus now is to identify quality music instruction programs in under-served areas. The great majority of programs we support provide instruction for free. This is very important to us, as we feel that everyone should have the opportunity and access to learning to play an instrument and studying music, and there are many high-quality grassroots programs out there achieving these goals.” – John D’Addario Jr.

  5. D'Addario Foundation 2011


    The D’Addario Foundation celebrates its 30th anniversary and re-launches the D’Addario Performance Series at Carnegie’s Weill Hall to support the next generation of young guitarists including Kuang Junhong, Celil Refik Kaya, Johannes Moller, Oman Kaminsky and Thibault Cauvin.

    “It is an incredible privilege and a true testament to our legacy as a foundation to re-launch the D’Addario Performance Series on the foundation’s 30th anniversary.  The majority of the musicians featured in the series are performing for the first time at Carnegie Hall and in New York and are winners of international competitions. In addition to bringing these young players to Carnegie to perform, we also arrange for them to visit some of the NYC school music programs we support. It is a joy to see how these young students in the school programs connect with the artists.” – John D’Addario Jr.

  6. D'Addario Foundation 2014


    The James D’Addario Family Foundation in partnership with the D’Addario Foundation and the Harmony Program launches its own free El Sistema instrument instruction program for children on Long Island.  Participants in the program attend an elementary school that has not had a string program in over 30 years and where 75% of the student body is on free or reduced lunch.

    “I want this to be a model for our industry.  Once we show how well our program works, we will begin outreach to involve other companies in our industry and community, and inspire the creation of additional local music programs.  There is no question that children who participate in music making do better at everything else in and out of school.” – Jim D’Addario


Through a disciplined application and vetting process we annually support 200 of the best private sector not-for-profit organizations worldwide on the frontline of the battle to improve access to music education.