Established by John Studzinski in 2001, the Genesis Foundation works in partnership with the leaders of prestigious UK arts organisations such as LAMDA, the National Theatre, The Sixteen and the Young Vic. Its largest funding commitment is to programmes that support directors, playwrights, actors and musicians in the early stages of their professional lives.
The Genesis Foundation awards the bi-annual Genesis Prize to outstanding mentors of young artistic talent; it is the only arts award to focus on mentors and the vital role they play in an artist’s development.
The theme of art & faith increasingly characterises aspects of the Foundation’s work. Recent highlights include sponsorship of the British Museum’s Living with gods exhibition, the performance in the Sistine Chapel of James MacMillan’s Stabat mater, and commissions based on the Eton Choirbook. The Genesis Foundation has to date commissioned more than 20 sacred music works, several by James MacMillan, for Harry Christophers and The Sixteen who have performed and recorded these new works over the past decade.
In 2016, the Foundation celebrated its 15th Anniversary. The digital version of the anniversary book includes an overview of the projects the foundation has supported over the past 15 years.
“The idea behind Genesis is very much about nurturing young artists. It’s not about sponsoring individual plays or art shows. It boils down to someone showing trust in you, mentoring you and developing you.”
John Studzinski, Founder & Chairman, Genesis Foundation
The Genesis Foundation, with the permission of the Papal Household, presented the Vatican premiere of James MacMillan’s Stabat mater, with Harry Christophers & The Sixteen and Britten Sinfonia. It was the first ever concert live-streamed from the Sistine Chapel and was watched by more than two million people worldwide. Watch it here
Hallowed, a new Genesis Foundation commission by Stephen Hough, received its world premiere at the British Museum in a concert with Harry Christophers and The Sixteen marking the exhibition Living with gods: peoples, places and worlds beyond, sponsored by the Genesis Foundation. Read more about it here
Over at the Young Vic, 2018 Genesis Fellow Nadia Latif directed My England, a digital series of seven short films exploring Englishness.
2018 Genesis Future Directors Debbie Hannan and John Wilkinson directed Things of Dry Hours and Winter.
2016 award winner Ola Ince directed a much-anticipated production of The Convert by Black Panther star Letitia Wright and Tony-nominated writer Danai Gurira, while Nancy Medina won the 2018 RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award. Read more about the Young Vic partnership here
The 2018 Genesis Prize was awarded to playwrights Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson, directors of Good Chance Theatre, for The Jungle. Read more about this here
Harry Christophers and The Sixteen presented four new Genesis Foundation commissions (by James MacMillan, Phillip Cooke, Marco Galvani and Joseph Phibbs), based on texts from the Eton Choirbook, in a concert at Eton College Chapel. The concert was live-streamed on Classic FM. Buy Star of Heaven, a recording by Harry Christophers and The Sixteen, here
Genesis Sixteen, now in its eighth year, goes from strength to strength. Notable successes from its alumni singers include: Katie Jeffries-Harris (Alto, Genesis 7) installed as the new Alto 1 in VOCES8; Six Genesis alumni selected for the 2018/19 Monteverdi Choir’s Apprentice Scheme (Angus McPhee, Charlotte LaThrope, Sam Cobb, Jonathan Hanley & Michael Lafferty and Victoria Meteyard); Three Genesis alumni selected for the 2018/19 NYCGB Fellowship Octet (Danni O’Neill, George Cook & Sam Gilliatt).
The Genesis Music Theatre Group, a key project within the National Theatre’s New Work Department, continued to build on Rufus Norris’s ambition to put the development of new music theatre at the centre of the NT’s work. Read more about the project here