“David Geffen, the entertainment magnate who has shaped cultural tastes in music and movies and holds one of the world’s leading art collections, is extending his reach into classical music with a $100 million gift that will renovate—and rename—Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center,” writes Robin Pogrebin in Wednesday’s (3/4) New York Times. Geffen’s gift “will help pay for the hall’s gut renovation, which is expected to cost more than $500 million. Although construction is not scheduled to begin until 2019, the building will become David Geffen Hall this September…. The hall, home to the New York Philharmonic and built in 1962, has long been viewed as outdated and acoustically problematic…. Asked to elucidate his classical music bona fides, Mr. Geffen said that he regularly goes to Walt Disney Concert Hall, home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. ‘I love classical music,’ he said.… The contribution [will] be paid out over eight years,” and the hall will bear his name in perpetuity. “Matthew VanBesien, the Philharmonic’s executive director, called the gift ‘generous and inspiring.’ Geffen said the hall was sorely in need of an upgrade. ‘It was never right,’ he said. ‘The acoustics here have never been good.’ ”

Posted March 5, 2015

Pictured: Avery Fisher Hall will be renamed after David Geffen, center, seen here with Jed Bernstein and Katherine G. Farley, respectively the president and chairwoman of Lincoln Center. Photo by Richard Perry / The New York Times