The gift will be used to redesign the theater, which will be renamed Lani Hall, after Alpert's wife, in the Schoenberg Music Building. In conjunction with the gift, UCLA has contributed funds for upgrades to Schoenberg Hall, including the renovation of four ensemble rooms. The redesign of the theater is being led by acoustician John Storyk, whose best-known projects include the 1969 design of Jimi Hendrix's Electric Lady Studios in New York City.
The foundation provided $30 million in 2007 to establish the school of music and also has supported the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz Performance at UCLA and the school's global jazz studies program.
"I was attracted to the idea of combining forces with the university to create a jewel of a performance space with excellent acoustics for the school's students, faculty, and audiences," said Alpert. "Lani is the girl of my dreams. I know she does not seek this type of attention, but I was thrilled to surprise her with this recognition of her own artistry and to celebrate our forty-sixth wedding anniversary."
"Herb and Lani's gift is an inspiring example of what we accomplish when visionary philanthropists partner with a public university such as UCLA," said Alpert School of Music dean Eileen Strempel. "We are grateful for their generosity, which has transformed this theater into an incredible resource for our students, school, and community — a timely asset that amplifies our growing global jazz program and supports the work of all our students and performers."
(Photo credit: Juan Tallo)