Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts has announced a $100 million gift from music and media executive David Geffen in support of the complete transformation of its largest concert hall, which will be renamed in his honor.
The renovation and re-imagination of the space that has been known since 1973 as Avery Fisher Hall will be a close collaboration between Lincoln Center and the New York Philharmonic. In addition to serving as the home of philharmonic, as it has since Lincoln Center opened in 1962, the redesigned hall will include a new Hall of Fame celebrating all aspects of the performing arts and film. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2019, with the project expected to cost $500 million.
Last November, the children of Avery Fisher reached an agreement with Lincoln Center enabling the renaming of the concert hall. At the time, the New York Times reported that Lincoln Center would pay the Fisher family $15 million for permission to remove the Fisher name from the hall, with the funds coming from a line of credit that will be covered by Geffen's naming gift.
Geffen has a long history of philanthropic giving, including major gifts to what is now the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, AIDS Project Los Angeles, Gay Men's Health Crisis, amfAR, God's Love We Deliver, the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, arts education programs at both Spelman and Morehouse College, the Academy of Motion Pictures, the University of Southern California's School of Cinema-Television, and the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.
"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."