ABOUT ADRIAN BRINKERHOFF
The Adrian Brinkerhoff Foundation was founded in 2003 in Paris. It is our belief that our values are shaped by great language and great thought, which needs to be highlighted in our children’s education. Poetry combines the compelling rhythm of structured language with profound and intense insights into human nature; it is a novel on a page; it allows people to have a cathartic experience in a short amount of time.
The Foundation’s mandate is to focus on metaphysical poetry, both historic such as John Donne, and modern, such as Peter Halstead. We define this as poetry which has structure and a strong cerebral content. Poets who exemplify this are Richard Wilbur, James Merrill, W. H. Auden, T. S. Eliot, Emily Dickinson, Archibald MacLeish, and Dylan Thomas, among others. The Foundation will also focus on high drama and prose, such as Dorothy Sayer’s translation of Dante’s Divine Comedy; the high drama of the Renaissance and Restoration; and occasional modern pieces, such as La Bête by David Hinson. Some playwrights who exemplify these values are Shakespeare, Sheridan, Shaw, Wilde, Stoppard, Ayckbourn, and Frayn.
The Foundation has the copyright to the intellectual properties of Peter and Cathy Halstead, and will teach, publish, and organize them.
The Foundation intends to publish out of print volumes, send poets into schools, send actors into schools and other institutions. It will partner with other educational institutions such as Brown University, the Hirshhorn Museum, the Tippet Rise Art Center, and will use digital technology as part of its outreach. It will fund recordings of poetry by poets and by actors.
The Foundation intends to establish poetry spaces, small buildings that will play audio tapes of poetry, show videos of poets, and organize exhibits and installations of poets’ manuscripts and letters.
The Foundation is funded by the Sidney E. Frank Foundation.
Projects already undertaken by the Sidney E. Frank Foundation on poetry are the publishing of six out of print Molière plays translated by Richard Wilbur; funding lectures by Wilbur; funding an exhibition of Dylan Thomas manuscripts at the New York 92nd Street Y; creating the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust which has accepted the estate of W. S. Merwin, the Pulitzer Prize winning poet, as a museum to his poetry; funding audio recordings of plays by Shakespeare, Stoppard, Ayckbourn, and Sheridan in partnership with the Los Angeles Theater Workshop; funding videos of Shakespeare plays at The Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre, and Shakespeare’s Globe, all in London; digitizing the archives of the National Theatre, The Royal Shakespeare Company, and Shakespeare’s Globe; funding a video of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest with Brian Bedford on Broadway.
We will publish the “uncollected” works of Peter Halstead in 27 volumes, as well as his novel, The Lost Pianist. Certain parts of this project are currently available at pianistlost.com.
Two volumes are so far available of the six-volume piano series for Albany Records: Pianist Lost: Excesses and Excuses (The Himalaya Sessions, Volume 1) and Sunken Cathedrals (The Himalaya Sessions, Volume 2).
An eBook, Khumbu, Hinku, and Hongu Valleys, 1986, is forthcoming through adrianbrinkerhoff.com.
He studied piano with Vladimir Padwa in summer camp, Russell Sherman in Boston, and Irma Wolpe in New York, and organ with Charles Courboin at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. He spent much of his early life traveling in Asia, Europe, and the Caribbean, and has played concerts in the Himalaya and the Chugach.
His great aunt Welthy Fisher founded, on the advice of Mahatma Gandhi, World Education, Inc., which built seven Literacy Villages near Lucknow in India to teach sustainable farming and language. Its motto is a quote from Tagore: “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” His cousin Dee, Mildred Barnes Bliss, commissioned the Dumbarton Oaks Concerto from Igor Stravinsky and co-founded the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His cousin, Lauro de Bosis, poet and translator of Sophocles, was shot down by Mussolini’s air force while dropping anti-fascist pamphlets on Rome. Harvard offers the De Bosis Lectureship on Italian culture, funded partly by Giovanni Agnelli.
His grandfather, William James O’Brien, built and chaired Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, New York.
With his wife Cathy, he is co-trustee of the Sidney E. Frank Foundation, which funds projects in the arts, education, and climate change.
With his wife Cathy, he is a co-trustee of the Tippet Rise Foundation, and co-founder of the Tippet Rise Art Center in Fishtail, Montana.
Cathy and Peter have two wonderful daughters and two adorable grandchildren.