HE will not be invited to take a bow at the end of tonight’s premiere of James MacMillan’s Fifth Symphony in the Usher Hall, the apex of the Edinburgh International Festival’s celebrations of the composer’s 60th birthday, but the event will owe a great to the support of John Studzinski.

The philanthropist, whose support of the arts also includes the Tate Gallery and the Royal Court Theatre in London, and who insists his view of culture embraces rodeo in Wyoming as readily as symphonies in the concert hall, has recently become best known - in Scotland at least - for his championing of the composer, particularly in association with Harry Christophers’ chamber choir The Sixteen.

Where Studzinski and MacMillan are particularly aligned is in matters of faith. Both are devout Roman Catholics, and while much of Studzinski’s philanthropy has had nothing to do with his religion, he seems more evangelical about, and happy to discuss, his contribution to the creation of new sacred music.

Born and educated in the United States, Studzinski’s career has been in investment banking with senior positions in HSBC, Morgan Stanley, the Blackstone Group and now PIMCO, where he is managing director and vice-chairman. His success in those fields has made is generosity possible, but he has very clear, and well-documented, views on the responsibilities of those with money, laid out on the first page of the website of his Genesis Foundation.

“Giving is a funny word,” he writes. “I prefer the word share. Philanthropy is about sharing time, talent and money.”

The Genesis Foundation is particularly associated with the establishment of the youth training programme he established with Christophers, Genesis Sixteen.

Auditioning young singers on the road to a professional career and giving them the benefit of intensive chamber choir training with some of the finest musicians in the field, the young choir is constantly refreshing itself and provides voices for the senior outfit as well as sending others out into the world of work elsewhere. The current Genesis Sixteen ensemble is part of the MacMillan premiere alongside The Sixteen and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

For Studzinski it is just as important that those who come through Genesis Sixteen go on to share their talents.

“All of them get job placements because it is such a good apprenticeship, and that is the domino effect of nurturing. At their graduation dinner I said that they should take it upon themselves to be generous with nurturing in their own lives. When you look back on your own career you will remember the people who gave you a break, and you must show faith in that.”

In money terms, Studzinski concedes that philanthropy comes in waves, dependent on the economic climate, but insists that should not just be a matter of cheque-writing, and that developing trust in the people he works with is just as essential.

He also gives of his own time at the highest level of government in the UK, although the most recent changes in the elected members holding some of those jobs have happened since he spoke to The Herald. He was a key voice in the framing of the Modern Slavery Act in Theresa May’s administration, as a non-executive director at the Home Office, and a co-founder of Human Rights Watch. He sees a clear responsibility for business in these issues, with human trafficking as much of an issue in the US as the emerging world, and closely linked with organised crime.

Although Studzinski says that philanthropists absolutely must leave artists to get on with their own work and not interfere with the process of creation, he is nonetheless happy to take credit for initiating that process in particular instances of the partnership with MacMillan and The Sixteen.

His commissioning of the composer’s Stabat Mater, premiered by The Sixteen to huge acclaim in 2016, began with Studzinski hearing the setting of the same text by Rossini in Salzburg and disliking the experience. He asked Harry Christophers about other more modern settings of this text about the suffering of the Mother of Christ that was so essential to earlier composers, and saw a gap that needed to be filled, with MacMillan clearly the man for the job.

By the same process, he discussed with the composer the comparative lack of music celebrating the Holy Spirit, the third member of the Divine Trilogy but less sung about than God the Father and the Passion of Jesus Christ, and that has become the subject of MacMillan’s Symphony No.5 “Le grand inconnu”.

“In terms of basic values and principles, we’re probably pretty similar,” he says of MacMillan. “The Holy Spirit is not so well understood, but it is what we live with in our lives, and an important part of our faith.

“So yes, there is an evangelical purpose in my commissioning new works for new audiences. You can’t tell people to go to church, or re-educate their children, but by using really beautiful music you can share something with audiences.”

Studzinski points out that the Stabat Mater, which was performed in the Sistine Chapel in Rome and relayed around the world, struck a chord because of the correlation between its subject matter and the plights of mothers and children in Afghanistan and Syria. He hopes something similar will happen with understanding of the more difficult Christian concept of the Holy Spirit.

That, he adds candidly, is why it is part of his method to occasionally talk to the press and media.

“The best conversation I had with James was fifteen years ago, when we talked about ‘channelling the Divine’. It is God that chooses people to be a conduit, not you that is ‘good’.”

The philanthropist’s exploration of his own faith is an ongoing process, and one that both MacMillan and Christophers can expect to continue to hear more about. Inspired by an Old Testament text he had come across in his recent Bible reading, he called the director of The Sixteen to ask if he knew of any settings of it and then promptly commissioned a young composer to have a go.

Another new enthusiasm is podcasts, with MacMillan signed up to contribute to an early one in conversation with the Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols.

“Whenever I find a great text that has not been set to music, I think: ‘How can I introduce this to people?’ Genesis Foundation is working on number of new fronts,” says Studzinski.

Sir James MacMillan’s Symphony No 5 has its world premiere in the Usher Hall at the Edinburgh International Festival tonight.