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September 25, 2015

N.Y. Philharmonic Gets $25 Million Gift From Board Chair

The New York Philharmonic received a $25 million donation Thursday from its board chairman, the financier Oscar S. Schafer, and his wife, Didi, reports The New York Times. The announcement of the gift coincided with the orchestra's first performance in David Geffen Hall, as the venue was officially renamed in a pre-concert ceremony.

Mr. Schafer, founder of the investment firm Rivulet Capital, said $20 million of the donation would be divided between the orchestra's endowment and a major renovation of the concert hall. The remaining $5 million will be used to continue providing free concerts in city parks, a program the Schafers have sponsored since 2007.

The former Avery Fisher Hall was renamed for Mr. Geffen in recognition of the entertainment mogul's $100-million gift for the 53-year-old venue's makeover. The Philharmonic must raise $160 million toward the project and is seeking an additional $200 million to double its endowment and boost operating reserves.