NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Music and media executive and philanthropist David Geffen has given a $100 million gift to Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts to lead the complete transformation of its largest concert hall, it was announced today by Katherine Farley, Chair of Lincoln Center. The renowned performing arts building will be renamed David Geffen Hall in September 2015 at the start of the New York Philharmonic’s 2015-2016 season.
The comprehensive renovation and reimagination of the concert hall will be undertaken in close collaboration between Lincoln Center and the New York Philharmonic. The project is on track to begin construction in 2019 at an expected cost of approximately $500 million. In addition to its primary purpose as the home for the New York Philharmonic, which has performed there since it opened in 1962, the redesigned concert hall will also feature the new Lincoln Center Hall of Fame, a first-of-its-kind institution celebrating all aspects of the performing arts and film.
“This remarkable gift by David Geffen allows Lincoln Center to move forward with the transformation of our concert hall, and ensures that it will continue to be a world-class home for the Philharmonic and a wide variety of other artists and live performances,” said Jed Bernstein, President of Lincoln Center. “The new David Geffen Hall will be a superb venue for classical music and a place that will inspire innovations in how audiences enjoy music for years to come.”
As a patron of the arts, David Geffen has made substantial gifts to the Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Spelman and Morehouse College arts education programs, the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, and the USC’s School of Cinema-Television. In early 2013 he contributed to The Academy of Motion Pictures for the creation of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Numerous other charities receive significant funding from his foundation, including the Motion Picture Television Fund, the Young Eisner Scholars, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the American Civil Liberties Union, National Public Radio, the Bridge School, Human Rights Watch, the Children’s Diabetes Foundation, Survivors of the SHOAH Visual History Foundation, The American Society for Yad Vashem, and Save the Children.
The symphonic concert hall, designed by Max Abramovitz, was the first building to open on the Lincoln Center campus. Originally known as Philharmonic Hall, it has been home to storied performances by the New York Philharmonic, as well as other renowned orchestras and soloists, for more than five decades. In 1973, it was renamed for the late audio pioneer Avery Fisher, a New York Philharmonic board member. Last November, in a landmark philanthropic gesture, the children of Avery Fisher entered into an agreement with Lincoln Center to enable the renaming of Avery Fisher Hall. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers