In Memoriam: Robert Capanna, Former President of The Presser Foundation


Robert Capanna

Robert Capanna

It was with the profoundest sense of loss and sadness that we received news of the passing on January 26, 2018, of our dear friend, colleague, and former President of The Presser Foundation, Robert Capanna. Known and respected by all as a gifted composer, visionary leader, financial strategist, and as a man of scruples and conviction, his legacy to the art of music, to the City of Philadelphia and the region, to the nation through his leadership of organizations dedicated to advancing the causes of music and education and, specifically, to The Presser Foundation will long be felt by and influence the countless people and organizations he touched. Bob’s leadership as President for ten years resulted in major strategic planning, thoughtful revision and updating to virtually every dimension of its philanthropy, steadfast adherence to the guiding principles established by Theodore Presser himself, and, in sum, exemplary stewardship. To quote Peter Dobrin following the Memorial Celebration held on March 4, 2018, “…Capanna often functioned as a kind of conscience for the city, a one-man reality check against fad masquerading as innovation, and with an abiding belief in the common good and achieving it through an institution.”




About Theodore Presser page

Theodore Presser

The Presser Foundation was established in 1939 under the Deeds of Trust and Will of the late Theodore Presser, an educator, publisher and philanthropist.  It is one of the few private foundations in the United States dedicated solely to music education and music philanthropy.

The Presser Foundation supports a broad range of classical symphonic, chamber, choral and vocal music and requires potential grantees to submit proposals by the following deadlines.


Grant Making Area Proposal Deadline Decision Notification
Advancement of Music November 15th March 1st
Assistance To Music Teachers Ongoing Ongoing
Capital Support February 1st May 1st
Special Projects October 15th January 1st
Undergraduate Scholar Award September 1st November 15th
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