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Musicians, music ensembles and music education entities all over the Empire State will again benefit from opportunities for low interest loans for instrument purchase(s) as New York State Council on the Arts’ Musical Instrument Revolving Loan Fund welcomes new applications in September 2012. The Musical Instrument Revolving Loan Fund, MIRLF, offers this valuable opportunity to professional musicians, music students and music lovers throughout New York State to help bring artists, the public and music students the opportunity to have rich and meaningful experiences with musical performance and study.

Now in its 30th year, this program was launched in 1983. The program has provided hundreds of loans to music organizations, thus stimulating the field’s professional growth and productivity and increasing the capacity of musicians and ensembles throughout New York State. The fund is expanding its applicant pool this year and invites music and arts education organizations to apply with the goal of expanding the reach and impact of the program.

The loan program is competitive and allows access to a low interest loan program to support the purchase of musical instruments by eligible non-profit symphonies, ensembles and music organizations. The purpose of the funds is "to stimulate the professional growth of musicians and symphony orchestras which provide a vital educational and cultural service to the citizens of the state.”

Financed directly by the New York State Legislature and Governor Cuomo, the loan fund is administered by the Council on the Arts. Annually, this unique opportunity is made available for the purchase of instruments by eligible nonprofit organizations at an annual finance charge of 3%, repayable over a loan period of up to eight years. The on-line application form and guidelines will be available on Friday, August 3, 2012 and the deadline for FY13 requests will be 4pm, September 5, 2012. Applicants will be notified of approved applications in December 2012. To see the MIRLF guidelines and application visit or visit the home page of

Recent purchases have included:

  • a bass flute for Patricia Spencer, founding member of Da Capo Chamber Players. Before the purchase, the ensemble borrowed this instrument when it was needed
  • a special "folding” harpsichord, made in Italy, that has enabled its owner, Gwen Toth, to travel more easily to performance venues with ARTEK, an early music ensemble
  • a better-quality Italian violin for Liana Koteva, Rochester Philharmonic. Ms. Koteva’s previous violin did not have the sound qualities that her work required;
  • an acoustic double bass for jazz bassist Larry Ridley. Made of carbon fiber, this instrument can easily withstand changes in climatic conditions for this instrumentalist, who tours extensively.
For more information about the Musical Instrument Revolving Loan Fund contact Rita Putnam at 212-741-7143 ( or Robert Baron, at 212-741-7755 (