New David Geffen Hall theater named “Wu Tsai Theatre” in honor of Clara Wu Tsai and Joe Tsai’s donation


The theater in the new David Geffen Hall will be named the “Wu Tsai Theater” in honor of a catalytic donation from Joe Tsai and Clara Wu Tsai, philanthropist and Lincoln Center board member. The pledge was made in late 2020 and was the key donation that accelerated the two-year project, supporting more than 6,000 jobs at a time when they were urgently needed, with construction participation 42% minorities and women. -owned businesses and 52% of the workforce from underrepresented communities, leaders of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and the New York Philharmonic announced today.

In further recognition of the historic $50 million donation and Clara Wu Tsai’s commitment to ensuring diverse representation in the arts, this fall marks the launch of an annual “Wu Tsai Series” that will feature performances celebrating works interdisciplinary of diverse voices that take advantage of the theater’s unique flexibility.

“Joe and I are avid lovers of the arts and passionate about the role they play in our civic well-being,” said Clara Wu Tsai, Founder of the Joe and Clara Tsai Foundation and Lincoln Board Member. Center. “We are especially passionate about Lincoln Center’s commitment to expanding the voices represented on stage and reaching new audiences, to help create a more equitable and vibrant future in the arts. We couldn’t be happier to support this project. amazing for New York City.”

“Over her long career, Clara has proven herself to be a visionary in the arts, deeply committed to the democratization and accessibility of culture,” said Katherine Farley, Chair of the Lincoln Center Board of Trustees. . “Through this defining gift, she will help Lincoln Center showcase works of art spanning all genres and backgrounds, and welcome more to participate in the transformative experiences of live performance. simply wouldn’t have happened without her.”

“The New York Philharmonic is eager to begin a new era with our return to the new David Geffen Hall and with the orchestra performing in the reimagined Wu Tsai Theater,” said New York Co-Chair Peter W. May Philharmonic Board, also speaking on behalf of fellow co-chair Oscar L. Tang. “It’s been a long journey so far, but the result will be worth it.”

Deborah Borda, President and CEO of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, said, “Joe and Clara’s visionary gift is essential in helping to create what will be a concert hall not only for all New Yorkers , but also a true 21st century home for open and enveloping music. in the world.”

“Clara’s leadership is truly exemplary. She helped lead the charge of our transformation, not only ensuring that the David Geffen Hall project was finally completed on time and on budget, but ensuring that we served a wider and more diverse audience. said Henry. Timms, president and CEO of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. “As co-chair of Shanta Thake’s job search, our artistic director, and as a versatile thinking partner, she has had a unique influence on Lincoln Center’s growth into a more active and equitable civic entity for the New York City.”

The new annual “Wu Tsai Series” celebrates various artists and socially engaged works. It is specially curated to demonstrate the flexibility of the new Wu Tsai Theater and highlights the synergies between art forms and cultures – inspired by Clara Wu Tsai’s commitment to reaching new audiences and championing new voices at Lincoln Center.

Highlights include:

Etienne Charles’ San Juan Hill A New York Story, Oct. 8: A Lincoln Center commission that will premiere at two concerts on the opening weekend of the new David Geffen Hall. An immersive multimedia work, San Juan Hill: A New York Story transports audiences through music, imagery and original first-person accounts of the history of the San Juan Hill neighborhood and the indigenous and immigrant communities that populated the neighborhood. land on which Lincoln Center resides. Performed by Etienne Charles & Creole Soul and the New York Philharmonic led by Music Director Jaap van Zweden. Ahead of the world premiere, Charles, Lincoln Center and the New York Philharmonic are teaming up for a series of conversations and workshops that will explore the preservation and transformation of culture, gentrification, community activism, as well as as resilience in resisting adversity, in collaboration with the Weeksville Heritage Center and the Jazz Museum of Harlem, among others;

Open House Weekend, October 29 and 30: All are invited as Lincoln Center and the New York Philharmonic activate spaces in the new David Geffen Hall with a wide range of artists, ensembles and interdisciplinary performers from all of New York’s cultural communities. Events include Family Day, Sunday October 30, with activities designed for audiences of all ages. All events are free;

GlobalFEST’s 20th anniversary in January 2023: a Lincoln Center season presentation celebrating global music from 12 bands from around the world in a day-long takeover of several unique spaces in David Geffen Hall;

Afropunk’s first-ever Winter Afropunk: BLACK HERSTORY LIVE, February 2023: Bring their signature brand of cutting-edge black culture and music in a two-day takeover with cutting-edge programming highlighting the cutting edge of modern music, film, fashion and visual arts by black women around the world, in a season presentation from Lincoln Center;

Chineke! March 2023: Europe’s first orchestra made up of predominantly black and ethnically diverse musicians who proudly place diverse composers at the center of their repertoire will make their Lincoln Center debut, presented by Lincoln Center in association with the New York Philharmonic and the Juilliard School;

The March to Liberation, March 2-4, 2023: A New York Philharmonic Orchestra subscription program conducted by Leslie B. Dunner and conducted by Tazewell Thompson (who is writing the libretto of a Courtney Bryan premiere during concerts, which also feature works by William Grant Still and Adolphus Hailstork); the evenings explore social justice and equity through the voices of black creators and, through them, their communities;
Julia Wolfe’s unEarth, June 1-3, 2023: A New York Philharmonic subscription program featuring the world premiere of Julia Wolfe’s immersive multimedia oratorio unEarth, commissioned by the Philharmonic Orchestra. The Crossing and the Young People’s Chorus of New York in addition to the Orchestra – she “digs deep into the stories and science of our planet – examining forced migrations, adaptations, loss of species, loss of land and the changing seas – and singing our fears and our hopes to move forward.”

Additional program details will be announced in the coming months.

About David Geffen Hall’s reimagining

Opened in October 2022, the new David Geffen Hall will enhance the entire concert experience, creating the state-of-the-art Wu Tsai Theater that will serve as the home of the New York Philharmonic and host the expected performers and audiences of the future. . . The project will bring tens of thousands of square feet of new public space online for various cultural uses, including performance and community. It supports 6,000 jobs and $600 million in economic activity, and exceeded its inclusion criteria with a 42% stake in construction by minority and women-owned businesses, and an average of 52% workforce from underrepresented communities.

David Geffen Hall’s design team includes Diamond Schmitt Architects, led by Gary McCluskie, on the Wu Tsai Theatre; Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects│Partners, led by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, on all public spaces; acoustician Paul Scarbrough of Akustiks; and theater designer Joshua Dachs of Fisher Dachs Associates. Turner Construction Company is acting as construction manager, and Kohler Ronan and Thornton Tomasetti companies are providing engineering services. More details can be found at


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