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The Neil Ratliff Fund: An Endowment for the International Piano Archives at Maryland

Neil Ratliff (1936-1994) was Head of the University of Maryland Music Library and the International Piano Archives at Maryland (IPAM) from 1980 to 1994. During that time his signature accomplishment was to increase IPAM's collections many times over, engaging a host of friends in its unique mission. Before Maryland, Neil was at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center for 17 years. During his distinguished career he served the Music Library Association in numerous capacities, and was Secretary-General of the International Association of Music Libraries (1983-1987); he also lectured in music librarianship at The Catholic University of America (1983-1992). A noted expert on modern Greek music, and popular performer as well, Neil was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in 1994 to establish a music library in the Athens Concert Hall, but his final illness prevented him from pursuing that project.Photograph of Neil Ratliff, pianist, Head of the University of Maryland Music Library and the International Piano Archives at Maryland (IPAM)

The Neil Ratliff Fund honors the memory of Neil's professional leadership and personal magnetism on behalf of IPAM, and celebrates the completion of IPAM's 25th year at the University. Neil envisioned IPAM as a vast, intriguing historical panorama of pianism. He charted its course to become a significant musical heritage, readily accessible to pianists, scholars, and music lovers everywhere.

Now, we need you to 'be a player' in IPAM's future. Through the Neil Ratliff Fund, you can celebrate IPAM's phenomenal growth over its first 25 years at Maryland and create a living legacy for its future. Income from the endowment will enable IPAM to enhance services, to improve access to collections, and to use evolving technology in the documentation and preservation of piano performance.

Choose Your Music ... 

IPAM was itself a gift to the University in 1977 from its co-founder, Gregor Benko. Since then, the collections have grown steadily through the generosity of numerous individuals, giving both materials and financial assistance. Establishment of the Neil Ratliff Fund seeks to widen the circle of players in IPAM's future.

From Prelude to Concerto, gifts to the Fund at all levels will support IPAM's growth. Choose the level that's right for you. All gifts will be acknowledged in public programs and on the IPAM website. Donors of $10,000 and up (cumulative) become members of the Neil Ratliff Legacy Circle, and will be acknowledged on a special donor wall in the Piano Room. You can make gifts of $10,000 or more through multiple-year pledge payments or include them in your estate.

Concerto - $50,000+
- $25,000+
Suite - $10,000+
- $5,000+
- $2,500+
- $1,000+
- $500+
- under $500
...and take tour seat!

Your first gift of $1,000 or more will be acknowledged with a nameplate on a handsome maple chair in the Piano Room. This is a limited opportunity, because we have only 55 seats. What a wonderful way to let others know that you are a player in the performing arts at Maryland!

Printable Neil Ratliff Fund Donation Form

Online donations will be accepted in the future. For further information on how to donate, please contact the Office for External Relations at 301.314.5674 or