Elsewhere online
June 23, 2016

$25 Million Gift Puts Business Mogul's Name on Carnegie Hall Boxes

Carnegie Hall announced a $25 million donation Wednesday from business mogul Len Blavatnik and his family foundation, The New York Times reports. The storied New York venue will rename its first tier of boxes for the Blavatnik family.

The tier of 33 boxes with small anterooms will be officially renamed on October 6, the opening night of Carnegie Hall’s next season, and will bear the Blavatnik name for 50 years. The donation brings to $55 million the venue’s take to date in a $125 million capital campaign. The drive, marking the hall’s 125th anniversary, runs through next June.

Mr. Blavatnik, the head of holding company Access Industries and a Carnegie Hall trustee, played an indirect role in the boardroom clash last year that led to Ronald Perelman’s departure as chairman. Mr. Perelman questioned financial moves by Clive Gillinson, the venue’s executive director, including the hall’s involvement in a $100,000 prize for young musicians.

Because the prize is sponsored by Warner Music Group, an Access Industries subsidiary, Mr. Perelman said it should have been more closely vetted for possible conflict of interest. A subsequent legal review commissioned by Carnegie Hall concluded that the Warners partnership raised no governance concerns.