Carnegie Hall in New York City has announced a $25 million gift from trustee Len Blavatnik and the Blavatnik Family Foundation.
The gift to the organization's 125th anniversary campaign will fund the continued growth of the concert venue's artistic, educational, and digital initiatives. Other key supporters of the campaign include trustees Beatrice Santo Domingo and Nicola Bulgari and the Fund II Foundation, which was is led by Carnegie Hall board chair Robert F. Smith. In recognition of the gift, the first-level seating tier in the venue's historic main auditorium will be named the Blavatnik Family First Tier.
A Carnegie Hall trustee since 2014, Blavatnik, the founder and chair of Access Industries, also is a founding patron of the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America, a program created by Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute in 2013.
In 2015, Carnegie Hall board chair Ronald O. Perelman stepped down after less than a year in the job after repeated disagreements with executive and artistic director Clive Gillinson and other board members. At the time, Perelman accused the board of approving, in a non-transparent manner, "related-party transactions," including the establishment of the Warner Music Prize, which was created with support from Blavatnik and his family foundation. According to the New York Times, a legal review commissioned by the board later concluded that the transaction had not raised any governance concerns.
"Carnegie Hall is the world's premier music destination, the place where all of the finest artists have aspired to perform," said Blavatnik. "It is important to me and my family that the hall continue to thrive, bringing together artists and audiences for exceptional musical experiences and creating programs to engage and inspire the next generation of musicians and music lovers. We are proud to support Carnegie Hall as it enters its next one hundred and twenty-five years."