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David Geffen Gives $100 Million to Lincoln Center & the Concert Hall Will Bear His Name

David Geffen Gives $100 Million to Lincoln Center & the Concert Hall Will Bear His Name

Avery Fisher Hall

The iconic home of the New York Philharmonic will undergo a transformation starting in 2019. 

David Geffen is coming East! The gay power broker known for his philanthropy on the Left Coast will be absorbing New York City's highbrow culture into his sphere of influence after a generous donation to the Lincoln Center institution's efforts to renovate its largest concert hall, currently named Avery Fisher Hall, home of the New York Philharmonic performs.

The $100 million gift will help begin the comprehensive renovation of the concert hall, built in 1962, which is on track to begin in 2019 and expected to cost a total of $500 million. The redesign will also feature the new Lincoln Center Hall of Fame that will celebrate all aspects of the performing arts and film.

"As a native New Yorker, I recognize that Lincoln Center is a beacon to artists and musicians around the world," Geffen said in a release, "to be involved with such a beloved and iconic institution is deeply satisfying."

Geffen has already donated another $200 million to UCLA's medical school, which now bears his name (and an additional $100 for scholarships in 2012), and he's made contributions in the film and art worlds. Geffen helped found DreamWorks with Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg, has a notable art collection, and has donated substantial amounts to the Museum of Modern Art and Museum of Contemporary Art L.A.

The children of Avery Fisher, whom the hall is currently named after, had to enter into an agreement to enable to renaming of the concert hall, which they agreed to (with a $15 million check sweetening the deal) so the center could entice a large donor for the renovation with a chance to re-dedicated the building. According to the New York Times, Geffen insisted that the Philharmonic's hall bear his name in perpetuity.

"I think it's appropriate," he told the Times. "How often can you change the name of this hall?"

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