DAVID GEFFEN HALL is a concert hall in
New York City
New York City 's Lincoln
Center for the Performing Arts complex on
Manhattan 's Upper West Side
. The 2,738 seat auditorium opened in 1962, and is the home of the New
York Philharmonic .
The facility, designed by
Max Abramovitz , was originally named
PHILHARMONIC HALL and was renamed AVERY FISHER HALL in honor of
Avery Fisher , who donated $10.5 million ($57 million
today) to the orchestra in 1973. In November 2014, Lincoln Center
officials announced Fisher's name would be removed from the Hall so
that naming rights could be sold to the highest bidder as part of a
$500 million fund-raising campaign to refurbish the Hall. In 2015 the
hall was renamed
David Geffen Hall after Geffen donated $100 million
to the Lincoln Center.
* 1 Renovations
* 2 Acoustics
* 3 Notable events
* 4 See also
* 5 References
* 6 External links
The hall underwent renovations in 1976 to address acoustical problems
that had existed since it opened. Another smaller renovation attempted
to address unresolved problems in 1992. Both projects achieved limited
In May 2004, the orchestra announced that the building would undergo
renovations in 2009, but in June 2006,
The New York Times
The New York Times reported
that the construction had been delayed until the summer of 2010. By
2012, it became clear that construction would not start before 2017.
The shell of the building will be left intact and work will focus on
improving the hall’s acoustics, modernizing patron amenities and
reconfiguring the auditorium.
On November 13, 2014, Lincoln Center officials announced their
intention to remove Avery Fisher's name from the Hall and sell its
naming rights to the highest bidder as part of a $500 million
fund-raising campaign for its refurbishment. Lincoln Center
chairwoman Katherine Farley said, "It will be an opportunity for a
major name on a great New York jewel." Fisher's three children agreed
to the deal for $15 million. The interior of
David Geffen Hall
Architects hired the acoustical consulting division of Bolt, Beranek
and Newman (BBN) to design the original interior acoustics for the
hall. Their acousticians recommended a 2,400 seat "shoebox" design
with narrowly spaced parallel sides (similar in shape to the
Symphony Hall, Boston
Symphony Hall, Boston ). Lincoln Center
officials initially agreed with the recommendation, and BBN provided a
series of design specifications and recommendations. However, the New
York Herald Tribune began a campaign to increase the seating capacity
of the new hall and late in the design stage it was expanded to
accommodate the critics' desires, invalidating much of BBN's
acoustical work. BBN engineers told Lincoln Center management the
hall would sound different from their initial intent, but they could
not predict what the changes would do.
The first of Lincoln Center's buildings to be completed, Philharmonic
Hall opened September 23, 1962, to mixed reviews. The concert,
Leonard Bernstein , the New York Philharmonic, and a host of
operatic stars such as
Eileen Farrell and
Robert Merrill , was
televised live on
CBS . The opening week of concerts included
performances by a specially invited list of guest orchestras (Boston,
Philadelphia, and Cleveland), who regularly appeared at Carnegie Hall
each season, as well as the new hall's resident ensemble. Several
reporters panned the hall, while at least two conductors praised the
acoustics. While the initial intention had been that Philharmonic Hall
would replace Carnegie Hall, which could then be demolished, that
scenario did not take place.
Management made several attempts to remedy the induced acoustical
problems, with little success, leading to a substantial 1970s
renovation designed by acoustician Cyril Harris in conjunction with
Philip Johnson . It included demolishing the hall's
interior, selling its pipe organ to California's Crystal Cathedral ,
and rebuilding a new auditorium within the outer framework and facade.
While initial reaction to the improvements was favorable and some
advocates remained steadfast, overall feelings about the new hall's
sound soured and acoustics there continued to be problematic. One
assessment by Robert C. Ehle stated:
The seating capacity is large (around 2,600 seats) and the sidewalls
are too far apart to provide early reflections to the center seats.
The ceiling is high to increase reverberation time but the clouds are
too high to reinforce early reflections adequately. The bass is weak
because the very large stage does not adequately reinforce the low
In 1992, under the tenure of
Kurt Masur with the New York
Philharmonic, several solid maple wood concave surfaces were installed
on the side walls and suspended from the ceiling of the stage to
improve acoustics. The maple was specially selected to minimize its
grain pattern. The new components are filled with fiberglass to deaden
The ongoing problems with the hall's acoustics eventually led the New
York Philharmonic to consider a merger with
Carnegie Hall in 2003,
which would have returned the Philharmonic to
Carnegie Hall for most
of its concerts each season. However, both sides abandoned talks after
Beginning in 2005 (and continuing in 2006), the Mostly Mozart
Festival has experimented with extending the stage for the Mostly
Mozart orchestra farther out into the seats from the main stage for
the Festival's summer season.
David Geffen Hall is used today for many events, both musical and
non-musical. As part of its Great Performers series, Lincoln Center
presents visiting orchestras in
David Geffen Hall, such as the London
Symphony Orchestra , the
Singapore Symphony Orchestra , the Rotterdam
Philharmonic Orchestra , and the
Kirov Orchestra of the Mariinsky
Live from Lincoln Center also features
performances from the Hall.
An early television concert from Philharmonic Hall featured Leonard
Bernstein and the
New York Philharmonic
New York Philharmonic in one of their Young
People\'s Concerts . It was the first of the many such concerts
televised from Philharmonic Hall, which had been previously televised
Carnegie Hall beginning in 1958. The 1962 program concentrated on
concert hall acoustics, and, like the opening night concert, was shown
CBS television network. It was entitled "The Sound of a
A 1964 performance by
Miles Davis at Philharmonic Hall was released
on two albums, My Funny Valentine and Four ">
The Supremes performed at Philharmonic Hall on October 15, 1965.
Judy Garland performed twice at the Hall in 1968.
Bette Midler held a New Years Eve concert at Philharmonic Hall in
Queen performed two shows during its
Sheer Heart Attack Tour on
February 16, 1975.
The hall hosted the world premiere of
Steven Spielberg 's film War
Horse on December 4, 2011.
The Hall is also a frequent location for graduation ceremonies for
high schools and universities, including
New York University
New York University 's
Gallatin School of Individualized Study , the Albert Einstein College
of Medicine and the
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva
List of concert halls
* ^ A B Matthews, Karen (13 November 2014). "NYC\'s Lincoln Center
Avery Fisher Hall".
Washington Times .
Associated Press .
* ^ Hetrick, Adam (4 March 2015). "
Avery Fisher Hall To Be Renamed
for Music Mogul
David Geffen After $100M Gift".
Playbill . Retrieved
* ^ "Naming Wrongs". Slate. 6 March 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
* ^ Kozinn, Allan (11 June 1992). "Fiddling With the Sound at Avery
The New York Times
The New York Times . Retrieved 2014-02-21.
* ^ Pogrebin, Robin (20 May 2004). "
New York Philharmonic
New York Philharmonic to
Redesign Hall". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-02-21.
* ^ Tommasini, Anthony (11 June 2006). "The Philharmonic\'s Double
Challenge". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-02-21.
* ^ "
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and the Family of Avery
Fisher Announce Landmark Agreement to Enable Renaming of Avery Fisher
Hall" (Press release). Lincoln Center. 13 November 2014. Retrieved 13
* ^ Rothstein, Edward (22 May 2004). "If Music Is the Architect,
the Results May Be Less Than Melodious". The New York Times. Retrieved
* ^ "1960
Carnegie Hall is saved from demolition". Carnegie Hall
Corporation. Retrieved 2014-11-14.
* ^ Crutchfield, Will (September 28, 1987). "
Carnegie Hall vs.
Fisher Hall". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-02-09.
* ^ Ehle, Robert C. "What Does It Take to Make a Good Hall for
Music?". Music Teacher International Magazine.
* ^ Kozinn, Allan (5 August 1992). "Details Set for Avery Fisher
Renovation". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-02-21.
* ^ Wise, Brian (2 June 2003). "
New York Philharmonic
New York Philharmonic to Carnegie
WNYC . Retrieved 2014-02-21.
* ^ Blumenthal, Ralph; Pogrebin, Robin (2 June 2003). "The
Philharmonic Agrees to Move to Carnegie Hall". The New York Times.
* ^ "N.Y. Philharmonic, Carnegie Merger Off". Billboard .
Associated Press . 8 October 2003. Retrieved 2014-02-21.
* ^ Oestreich, James R. (3 May 2005). "An Intimate Stage Plan for
the Mostly Mozart Festival". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-02-21.
* ^ Tommasini, Anthony (31 August 2005). "New Vigor, New Program,
New Stage: The Rejuvenation of Mostly Mozart". The New York Times.
* ^ "How A Stressful Night For
Miles Davis Spawned Two Classic
Albums". NPR. 9 February 2014. Retrieved 2014-02-21.
* ^ "Queen live on tour: Sheer Heart Attack". QueenConcerts.com.
* ^ "Walk the Red Carpet and Attend the World Premiere of War
Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines . 7 November 2011. Retrieved 2014-02-21.
* ^ "Commencement 2017". Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
* Melone, Deborah; Eric W. Wood (2005). Sound Ideas: Acoustical
Consulting at BBN and Acentech. Cambridge, MA: Acentech Incorporated.
* "Annals of Architecture: A Better Sound" by Bruce Bliven. New
Yorker magazine, November 8,