David Geffen's $100M gift buys naming rights to NYC concert hall

david geffen
David Geffen's $100 million gift wins right to put his name on Lincoln Center concert hall.

David Geffen's name is a staple on Hollywood credits lists. Now it will also be attached to one of New York City's premiere cultural institutions.

Lincoln Center will rename Avery Fisher Hall -- best known as the home of the New York Philharmonic -- David Geffen Hall in gratitude for the movie mogul's $100 million gift. The concert hall's renaming will take place in September.

Geffen's largess will be used to refurbish the more than 50-year-old building.

Lincoln Center announced the gift on Wednesday.

"This remarkable gift will help pave the way for the Philharmonic to realize its vision in creating a revitalized hall suited to the excellence of this Orchestra," New York Philharmonic Chairman Oscar S. Schafer said in a statement. "The gift also unlocks so many possibilities in the future. We are really excited by this inspired gift."

lincoln center

Citing his New York City roots, Geffen told the New York Times that he gave a "quick yes" when Lincoln Center's leadership reached out about the gift.

"I'm a kid from Brooklyn — it's a big deal," Geffen said. "I watched them build this building."

Geffen, who founded DreamWorks Studios along with Jeffrey Katzenberg and Steven Spielberg, has given away large sums of his fortune in the past.

His $200 million gift to the University of California Los Angeles School of Medicine in 2002 was the largest donation ever to an American medical school. He's also been a prolific Democratic donor, giving tens of thousands of dollars to the party and its candidates in the last three election cycles.


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