David Geffen Donates $100 Million to Lincoln Center

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David Geffen

The center’s iconic Avery Fisher Hall, home to the New York Philharmonic, will be named after Geffen following a planned $500-million overhaul.

David Geffen nourished the careers of legendary rock superstars like Joni Mitchell and The Eagles, and produced a string of phenomenally successful Broadway musicals, such as Little Shop of Horrors and Cats. Along the way, he managed to amass one of the world's great private collections of post-war art. 

Now, to round out his aesthetic portfolio, he's taking a philanthropic plunge into classical music with a $100-million donation to the renovation of Lincoln Center's iconic Avery Fisher Hall, home to the New York Philharmonic and one of the international music scene's iconic venues.

In gratitude for his contribution to the planned $500-million overhaul of the center's largest concert hall, the trustees said Wednesday that Avery Fisher will be renamed David Geffen Hall at the start of the next Philharmonic season.

The Brooklyn-born Geffen said in a statement accompanying the announcement that "As a native New Yorker, I recognize that Lincoln Center is a beacon to artists and musicians around the world. To be involved with such a beloved and iconic institution is deeply satisfying."

Lincoln Center's chair, Katherine Farley, said Geffen's "gift provides the critical impetus for the project's fundraising campaign. David has devoted much of his remarkable career to fostering young artists and musicians. His passion for the arts will be realized every day in the new David Geffen Hall."

Locally, Geffen has made substantial arts-oriented donations to both the Museum of Contemporary Art, the County Museum of Art, the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, as well as the theater and film departments of both UCLA and USC. In 2002, UCLA renamed its medical school for Geffen after he contributed $200 million to that facility. He followed up by creating a $100-million scholarship fund for the school's medical students.

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